Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Bye 2011, Welcome 2012

Each year is different. This year has been a whopper. Not a single thing I had planned for this year, coming into it, happened with the exception of the birth of our third child, Adrina Victory. I have to say that her joining our family was the best part of the year. She has been such a joyful blessing to us as well as the "pick me up" we needed right in the middle.

Due to the delightful economy and booming job market (I'm being sarcastic), my poor husband has had a heck of a year with his career. He has been through hell and high water to provide for this family and I will forever be grateful to him for what he's had to go through, and is currently going through to take care of us. He has had to and is doing things he doesn't enjoy in parts of the country he doesn't particularly like and is away from home at long periods of time, the shortest so far being about 3 weeks, the longest almost 3 months. This wasn't what we had planned.

My grandfather, my mom's father, passed away earlier this year. I don't think it came as a complete surprise to any one but myself and since we talked often around this time of year, it's been tough to not be able to talk to him. In all seriousness, if he were still alive, I probably wouldn't be typing this up right now, I'd probably be downstairs hanging out with him, getting ready to ring in the new year. Not what I had planned.

I am home alone all day every day with three small children. This was not how I imagined the year going. However, if I had to be home bound with anyone in the world, it would be my three beautiful children. We were blessed with our healthy, gorgeous Adrina in June. Her name means "happiness" and she has lived up to it. She bring a smile to my face and a sense of completion to our family.

Later on in the year though, more unpleasant things happened. Some are extremely personal and it's not my place to yet share those things here. I'll just say that they've been heartbreaking things. One in particular left me feeling as if my best friend had died. Like a piece of my heart was no longer there. It's a wound that is still healing and hopefully the situation will be reconciled very soon. When it is, I know all will be well again there.

In spite of all the frustration and worry that flowed through out the year, I learned a lot about myself and about my relationship with God. I wondered if these things were happening as a result of my lack of trust in Him. Some of the things that took place in 2011 were and are out of my control. However, how I react to them and in turn how my attitude, frame of mind and family are concerned, is in my control. I've learned what I'm capable of enduring. I learned that it is not on my strength that I will get through this life but by the strength that God gives me. It was by no doing of mine that my poor mom and her brother have not despaired at loosing their father. It was not me who provided my husband with the job that pays our bills. It was not my hand that delivered our beautiful daughter. It was not my inner peace that has helped me deal with the "loss" of a person very dear to me. It is not my own two legs that I stand on every morning as I get out of bed to take care of my kids. God has been holding me up the entire time. Only by His grace am I making it through every day. Only by His mercy does my husband have a job in these tough times. Only by His compassion are my mom and uncle coping with their loss. And only by His love is my baby healthy and happy today.

This year, I learned that God has always been there for me, taking care of me even when I turned my back on Him. He has always had my best interest at heart. He has always wanted good things for me. And through re-realizing this, have I been able to see His goodness in all the pain of this year.

My grandfather may have died, but he accepted Christ in his last days.
My husband has a job. We are so completely blessed by this alone.
In an effort to deal with being alone most of the time, God allowed this blog to launch and has given me an excuse to write again, something my heart has been longing for for quite some time now.
My "friend" may still be MIA but that too is in God's hand and through this situation specifically, He has shown me the error of my own ways and has begun to heal my soul again.

God has good things planned for us and chances are, they are not what we have planned for us. I take joy in this knowledge because while my own plans for life tend to be of comfort and fun, God's plans for me are to help me grow as a woman, as an individual, a wife, mother, daughter, friend, sister. He only has plans for me to prosper and not to fail.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.

I know that 2012 will be a good year because I know that God will be taking care of me and my family. I know that He will only allow things to happen that will cause us to grow and not wilt. I am looking forward to seeing what He has planned for me and my family.

Happy New Year Every One! May your 2012 be a blessed year!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A White Christmas and a Little About How I Feel About Men and Women

As I sit here writing this, I'm watching my all time favorite Christmas movie, A White Christmas. I just absolutely love this movie and just have to watch it every year.

This movie appeals to all my "senses". I'm a hopeless romantic so I enjoy the love story in it. I LOVE the singing. I wish people sang like that these days. Nowadays, music is... too much. There's just too much going on in the songs. These songs are simple and beautiful. I love the dancing. Isn't it funny that back in the day you HAD to be able to sing and dance and act in order to be in show business? I really don't think that any of those are really prerequisites any more. I love the story line and how they try to bring some help and hope to the general and how they surprise him with a gift that honors, respects him and helps restore his feeling of self worth. I ADORE the dresses. Oh man. In all honesty, I wish women dressed like this today. They're beautiful and they're modest!

This kills me about today. I wont say that I'm not guilty of sometimes wearing things that reveal too much. But I can go to the mall during the summer and see just about as much clothing on some of these girls (and women) as I would if I went to the beach. Tight and skimpy is glorified! And girls today wonder why they can't get guys to take them seriously and respect them. The women in this movie are wearing outfits that flatter their figures but seriously, they're wearing clothing! I mean, their dresses are mid shin length and many show almost no, if any, chest skin. They carry themselves  with poise and elegance. I've often wondered why men aren't really romantic these days or how chivalry really is dying and I am actually blaming women. We don't force men to be romantic or chivalrous. We don't treat ourselves like we deserve to be pampered or we treat men like we don't need them because we can take care of it ourselves. Well, through the generations, men have gotten used to this. I don't need to learn how to dance and take my girl dancing because I can just stand on a club dance floor and have half naked women throwing themselves at me. I don't need to respect women because they don't need to respect themselves. Find a woman with class? Yeah right. What's that?

Too often, we blame men for what we are actually at fault for. If I act like a hooker, I will get treated like one. If I act like a woman who is desirable enough to pursue, then men will pursue me. And I don't mean men men. The only man I want to pursue me is my husband. But if I'm dressed like a bum all the time, then he wont be attracted to me. Let's face it ladies, men are visual. And it doesn't stop when they get married. If I look like a million bucks, you can bet your butt that my husband is going to be on my heals constantly. If I'm dressed like I crawled out of a cave, he tends to keep his distance. I have learned NOT to dress up when I know I'm going to be cooking if I want to get anything done. Looking good and adding food to the mix... any man melts. But too often today, we conduct ourselves in a way that tells men that we're either too easy or we're too much hassle or we don't need them.

This is a bit of a tangent to go off on while watching A White Christmas but these women are attractive. I know it's a movie but still... They're covered head to toe (except for the occasional dance costume), they carry themselves with self assurance, they're talented and they're ALIVE. They're singing and dancing and smiling and living life. I wish women were more like this today. Too often, we see women and girls that have no self esteem, who don't think they're worth real love and respect and they dress like prostitutes just to get men's attention. It's sad.

I wish I could dress like the women in this movie. It elicits so much more mystery and romance and elegance. Ok. Now can some one watch my 3 kids so I can get dressed and do my hair and make up?

Just kidding.

I'm going to get back to the movie now.



This Wannabe Supermom is going to start setting a better example for younger men and women, including my beautiful children, and do my very best to conduct myself in a way that exudes life and elegance and character and self respect.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Treats: Check Out My Other Blog

I made some peppermint bark and candy cane stirring sticks (don't those sound yummy?) in honor of the Christmas holiday. Hop on over to my other blog, Eat Your Heart Out: A Culinary Exploration, to get the "how-to" on these super simple, yet delightfully delicious, treats.


Candy Cane Stirring Sticks






Peppermint Bark


Continued: Giving Gifts That Will Last A LIfetime

The last time I posted about "giving gifts that will last a lifetime", I spoke about teaching my daughters to have enough self respect and understanding their value so they don't follow suit of the women glorified in today's society and about wanting to teach my son what is truly attractive in a woman.

Today, I will continue talking about gifts to bestow upon my children but it wont be quite the same. This gift will help with the previous "gift". The gift of TIME is one of the most valuable things we can give our children. I mean, real, quality time doing things and investing your love and life into your kids.


It's been easy for me to say that I spend time with my kids because I'm a stay at home mom. I was convicted recently that although I'm in their constant presence, I don't SPEND TIME with them the way I should. I am always saying things like, "Sure, I'll color with you... when I'm done sweeping the floor and washing the dishes and changing poopy diapers and throwing that 15th load of laundry in." I am with my kids and taking care of them but not spending genuine time with them the way a loving mother should. I can't just take care of them. I need to pour my love into them. I can't give them gifts like self respect or role models for future wives or an ideal Christian woman if I don't spend time with them.


I've decided that each day, I need to set aside time that I spend doing something specific with them that is fun and that we can enjoy each other's company while we do it. Yesterday, we built "gingerbread" houses. I have to admit that I had a major brain fart with this project though. I decided to build these with the kids half an hour before their lunch time, which is generally immediately followed by nap time. Stupid, stupid idea. The kids ended up eating a good bit of the sugary decorations, causing them to not be hungry for lunch and way too wound up for a nap. Which, with the lack of nap and the severe crash after the sugar high made for a slightly stressful, whiny evening last night. I've learned my lesson. That is a mistake I will prayerfully never make again in my life. However, we at least had fun during the "building and decorating" process. I really enjoyed this time with the kids because we had Christmas music playing softly in the background and we actually got to talk to each other. My kids are only 3 and 2 (the nearly 6 month old baby was thankfully sleeping during all of this). But getting to talk to them is both enjoyable and entertaining. I got to appreciate the fact that my children's Sunday school teachers at church are getting through to my children. My daughter told me the story she was taught in Sunday school regarding the candy cane. We all sang songs that they've been learning in church. I found out that my kids aren't as excited about Santa as I thought they'd be. We got to SPEND TIME together and I think it was as good for me as it was for them.


This evening, after we've ALL cleaned together (they love helping me with the dishes which totally cracks me up since I hated doing the dishes as a kid), we're having a movie night, complete with warm jammies, popcorn (with m&m's in it) and hot chocolate. My parents gave the kids a set of those old Christmas movies, you know, the Santa and Rudolf and Frosty in clay-mation ones? The cool ones? I'm pretty sure I'm looking forward to it as much as they are. Breaking out the sleeping bags, turning off all the lights except the Christmas tree and snuggling together while watching movies. Sounds like a blast to me. And I'll be spending time with my kids.


There is only one person in all of history that has passed that I wish I could meet. Dad's mom. My grandmother. She died when he was 10 but he still talks about her as if she's been with him his whole life. He has always talked about her like she was this incredible, beautiful, passionate, hardworking, happy and fun woman. I wish I could have met her. She impacted him so much in 10 short years that he still to this day, over 40 years later, puts her on a pedestal. She invested in his life. I want to do that for my own children. I want to give them the gift of investing in their lives. I want to give them all the time I possibly can to impact them in a positive way that will last for the rest of their life.


You can not change your children's lives in a good way if you don't spend time with them. You can not make a positive difference in their mind and heart if you do not invest yourself and your love in them. And they really are an investment. They have futures. Their futures affect your own future (on this earth). Invest in your kids. Spend time with them. Give them gifts that will last a lifetime!
 
Merry Christmas.


My "molding" looks more like one of the kids did it.




This one belongs to my 2 yr old son. It's slightly chaotic, just like him :)



Can you see where my daughter swiped the icing with her finger?


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Recipes: Canning, Cake Balls and a Delicious Pasta

For those of you who had no idea, I have a food blog as well. I just haven't been keeping up with it the way I should. Maybe it's more along the lines of that I haven't been cooking the way I should. The blog is called Eat Your Heart Out: A Culinary Exploration. I updated it tonight though with some back recipes. I will be putting up more on that site in the next week or so. Check it out periodically just to see what I've been cooking up.

Recipes Posted Tonight (click the titles to be taken to the recipe):

Adventures in Canning: Bread and Butter Pickles, Jams, and Spicy Pickled Garlic



Red Velvet and Cheese Cake Balls:



Chicken and Spinach Penne:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Afraid of the Dark

My heart has finally settled down. About half an hour ago, I was on edge because my poor 2 year old son was screaming in his bed because of a fear that he has recently developed. I can't say that I understand it but something about his bedroom door, whether it's opened or closed, terrifies him at night. I don't know if it's the shadows or... really, I can't think of anything else it could possibly be. I can't wait until his speech is clearer and he can tell me what exactly it is that scares him. It breaks my heart to hear him cry like that and know that something is frightening him.

My 3 year old daughter is afraid of the dark. Often, I will wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of her getting up and turning her bedroom light on just so she can go back to sleep with out being in the dark. She's told me on more than one occasion that the dark scares her.

I had very similar fears when I was little. To this very day, I hate being in the dark. I like to crack a curtain at night so the street light shines through the window into my room. Well, I really only do this when the hubby is out of town on business. When he's home, I feel safer and he can't seem to sleep with ANY light. When I was a kid, I used to dread going up to my grandfather's house in New Hampshire during the summer. Something about his air conditioner made it rattle. I didn't know what the sound was coming from back then but in my mind, I developed this incredibly creepy looking monster that hid behind the couch and I called him "The Rattle Monster". It would take me HOURS to fall asleep at his house because I was so terrified. My parents say that I rarely got scared and went into their room as a kid. Only part of that is true. I got scared a lot. However, I was SO scared that I didn't dare to get out of bed and run to their room because then I'd be out in the open and what ever was out there could get me. I couldn't tell you for the life of me what exactly it was that I was afraid of. The basement used to freak me out too. At the house we lived in when I was in elementary school had a basement that my parents had been able to finish most of. The part that they never got to though scared the living daylights out of me. It was my chore to vacuum and when I went downstairs to vacuum, I never turned my back to the part of the basement that freaked me out. And I'm sure that more than once, I just kinda "spot swept" the floors.

I've never liked watching scary movies either. I remember watching The Ring in college. There were a whole bunch of us in the room watching it and this included my little sister who was visiting for the weekend. I didn't sleep that whole night. At one point, while crammed into the tiny dorm bed that I was sharing with my sister, I purposefully "accidentally" nearly rolled her off the bed so she'd wake up and talk to me so I wouldn't be so scared. She knew I am a total chicken butt because the only thing she did was say, "Abby, go back to bed. Nothing in the movie was real." It bugs me that previews for scary movies will show some really freaky stuff on TV. If I know that that's what's being previewed, I wont look at the television. And it bothers my that there's a chance that the kids may get a glimpse of something gross or creepy.

It breaks my heart that my children are developing fears. I think it upsets me so much because I know what they're going through and I know how genuinely terrified they can get. Even if it's over the silliest things. Things that DON'T exist. What bothers me the most though, is that I haven't the slightest clue how to help them overcome these fears as children. If they're like me, they've got overactive imaginations and then anything is possible. They can create any number of monsters or scenarios in their heads. I wish I knew what to do to save them sleepless nights of sweating and trembling under their blankets like I did. I wish I knew how to help them realize that God is bigger than anything they're afraid of and that they don't need to worry because He'll NEVER let anything bad happen to them. My instinct as a mother is to protect my children. But in this situation, I don't know how.

As usual, the only answer I can come up with is prayer. Lots of prayer. Begging for God to save my children from their own imaginations. For His mercy and that He will cultivate in them attitudes of strength and courage and not of fear and timidity. Lots and lots of prayer.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Giving Gifts That Will Last a Lifetime

I was reading an article this morning on my Fox News app that was about the statistics associated with an MTV study. The study was about the negativity between the sexes presented on the network. It turns out that, in most cases by a landslide, women were much more negative towards themselves and each other in their behavior and words than men are. At first, I was shocked. Upon further thought though, it really doesn't surprise me and that's terrible. It breaks my heart that women in today's society glorify being trashy. It's really really sad.

Things that I realized years ago are now a forefront concern for me. I have two daughters and a son. I have to do my very best to equip them with the morals needed to stand up against the attacks of our society and human nature. I not only have to try my hardest to shape my daughters into self respecting women but I have to show my son what is really desirable in a woman. His well being is just as at risk here as my daughters'. Society will be fighting against them every step of the way.

I once got in an argument with guy regarding strippers. He raised the point that many women strip to make money to put themselves through college. This has got to be the sorriest excuse I've ever heard. Not only did it discredit this man in my eyes but knowing that women use that as an excuse to expose themselves to men for cash grossed me out. And I'm not sympathetic to the whole "Oh, she has daddy issues though." I did a LOT of stupid things in my life. I was rebellious and foolish and you know what? Not a single decision I made about my relationships with men or what I was doing with my life had ANYTHING to do with my dad. He was and is an incredible father. A man that I have a lot of respect for. He raised me to be of a mindset that I didn't need a man to validate me, that I didn't need to act like a hooker just to get men's attention and that NOT being in a relationship was just as good, if not better in some cases than being in one. I just didn't listen to his instruction and wisdom. I wish I had. I would have saved myself a lot of pain and frustration. So when I hear that a woman is a stripper, hooker, porn star, whatever you choose to call it, because she had "daddy issues" I have a tendency to roll my eyes.

I have people in my own life that have overcome incredible obstacles in their lives, including the negative influences of their parents, to become wonderful loving wholesome God fearing people. We are in charge of our own actions. Accountable to God alone. The foolish choices I made in my life do not reflect the parenting I received. They reflect my own insecure mind.

I'm at a point NOW though that I understand and appreciate the teachings of my parents. I have decided that, in light of the "giving holiday", that I will begging now to bestow upon my children, gifts that will last a lifetime, such as my parents did. My own children may or may not make the same foolish choices I did. But what kind of parent would I be if I didn't at least show them what the right thing to do is? What kind of mother would I be if I let my young daughters mimic the "role models" in our society? What kind of mother would I be if I didn't try to show my son that a trashy woman is not desirable? Some things I think they will figure out on their own but others, they need to be guided in. It's part of my duty as a parent. It's my duty as some one who loves them.

I WILL be coming back to this point again at another time. Women and their lack of self respect, their unnecessary promiscuity and their ability to cause men to fall is something that pains me deep into my soul. I've been there, done that, and I know the destruction it causes. I don't want my children to fall the way I did. I don't think that going through some of the experiences I went though are necessary to their growth as an individual. It is ok to learn certain things with out having to go through them firsthand.

Try to give your children gifts that will last them their entire lives. Show them how to love (not lust). Show them how to build self esteem and to overcome insecurities. Helping them understand who they are as an individual and as a valued family member will help them grow their entire lives.

"We're either growing or dying." Ellen Miller

Monday, December 5, 2011

Like Mother, Like Daughter: A Klutz in the Making

I've been wondering what my kids will be like as they get older. I watch them developing their own unique personalities but its funny how similar to their father and I they can be.

For example. My husband does NOT sit still. Or if he IS sitting still, he's doing something with his hands. He used to drive me nuts when we were first going out because if he was on the phone with some one, he could just sit in the chair and talk to them. He couldn't even stay in one room. I've watched him pace and pace and pace in the same line or circle for so long that I wondered if he'd wear a hole in the ground. My son is the same way. I can't get him to sit still to save my life. It's like they both have something inside of them that says holding still is bad. Shoot... I think that even our male boxer, Spike, is the same way. He'll pace WITH my husband. It's crazy.

My daughter, I think, is a little more like myself. I see her do a lot of the same things I did as a kid. Like color constantly. Or make up songs. Or dances. Or, and here's the kicker, she's a total klutz. Today, I watched her attempt a ballerina-like twirl and not only trip, but fall into a large pile of barbies, all of which somehow managed to have their pointy little arms sticking up and she got one caught on her gums and cut herself. Only my daughter. But it's one of the crazy random things that would happen to me as a kid.

When I was in like 7th or 8th grade, we were doing archery in P.E. I'd been shooting bows and arrows (and guns for that matter) for many years at this point. It was nothing new to me. Somehow though, I managed to let an arrow slip off the bow just as I let go of it and one of the feathers cut my finger in spite of the glove I was wearing. Here's the really random part. Part of the feather broke off in my finger, about an inch away from where it entered into my skin and lodged itself in between the tendons near my knuckle. Our general doctor wasn't able to remove it so I had to visit my dad's surgeon. Two stitches and a scar later, I've got a wacky story.

That's not all. I managed to sprain my wrist and hand tripping UP a sidewalk. I was wearing some really ugly platform sneakers (I blame my parents for that one since they paid for them), wasn't looking where I was walking, went to step up on to the sidewalk and tripped. Wore a brace on my wrist for weeks.

I was on the soccer team in high school and was running full speed with the ball and ran into Attila the Hun. Actually, I'm pretty sure we were playing the girls from the German private school that night. Well, I somehow managed to collide with one chick's shoulder with my chest and dislocated some cartilage from my sternum... you know, the cartilage that attaches the ribs to the sternum? Yeah.

We were on vacation in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland as a family and were at the beginning of a dreaded long bike ride through the woods. Really, I wasn't looking forward to this bike ride. It was supposed to be a total of 11 miles and at that age, I think I'd much rather have been a the "beach" checking out the teen age boys on the boats. However, riding we went. At one point, I saw two baby bear cubs on the trail. I was pretty far ahead of my family so I didn't mention it. My dad caught up to me on the trail though and said, "Hey, do you smell that? It smells like the hay in the barn. That's what bears will smell like. There must be one near by." I then told him about seeing the cubs. I'm assuming that when he shouted it back to my mom and sister, that he was just sharing some fun and interesting news. My mom however, being a momma bear in her own way, knew that where there are cubs, there is also a mother bear. She then yells something along the lines of, "Hey! That means the mom is around somewhere. RIDE RIDE RIDE!!!" So we rode. All of us shot down the trail. Somehow, I ended up at the back of the line and thankfully so because if someone had been behind me, I'd have taken them down with me too. The entire family made it down a very VERY small hill successfully. I didn't though. My front tire caught a tiny rivet in the dirt at just the right angle and sent me over the handle bars. I'm not sure what my knee hit but it took a HUGE chunk of meat out of my knee, down to the bone. I think I actually said, upon standing, "Hey, there's a big chunk of meat missing." Because we weren't prepared for such an accident, the only thing we had to hold the blood on the way to the store to get the proper bandages was a maxi pad. I was mortified. But no one else managed to fall off their bike... Dad told me the next day that he and mom were going to attempt the ride again but that I didn't have to if my knee wasn't up to it. Part of the deal was that my sister could stay home too if I chose to stay. Much to her dismay, I went on the ride and to this day, I'm glad I did. It was an experience I'll never forget.

I can't remember if it was that same vacation or not but we also went white water rafting at Deep Creek Lake. Also a blast. There was one point in the trip though where the guides warned us of a large rock with a small waterfall that we had to pass through. They told us that they would be getting out of their own rafts to stand on the rock and toss ropes to who ever fell out. They let us know that this was going to be the most dangerous part of the trip. We were told to stay to the right if possible and avoid the left at all costs. Somehow, we went to the left. We weren't the only ones though so I'm not about to point fingers at any one in my family. My sister, probably because she was the lightest, got tossed out almost immediately and floated down river somewhere. My mom either got thrown out also or jumped out when she saw my sister fly in order to try to help her. I also got bounced out. However, my dad managed to grab my ankle just as I went overboard. I still giggle when I think about this next part though. When I get nervous, really nervous, I laugh uncontrollably. Well, I was pretty nervous right about then. My poor dad had to think I was a stinking lunatic. My head (and probably the rest of my body) kept bobbing in and out of the water. I couldn't breath at all because as soon as I'd surface and have a small chance of sucking in some air, I'd burst into laughter. I just couldn't stop laughing. I remember doing my best not to loose my contacts and my purity ring, laughing the whole time. I look back on this and try to picture it from my dad's side. I feel so bad for him. He was probably trying to keep himself in the raft, not loose our paddles, keep an eye out for my mom and/or sister and hold on to me all at the same time. I was not help to him. I couldn't even try to get myself back in the raft because I was laughing so hard. Oh man. I'm thankful that he's such a great dad because if I'D been in his shoes, I'd have just let me go. I'm kidding. I think...

It didn't end in high school though. In college, my stupid self thought it would be fun to follow the lead of some idiot guys I was friends with and make myself pass out. I can still remember exactly how to do it. I'm just not that dumb any more. I never knew though that when you pass out in certain ways, you can have a seizure. The first time I saw it happen, I didn't realize what was going on. The guys who pulled the prank on me didn't tell me that they were doing it. I was standing at the window of some guy pals (the college I went to didn't allow guys in the girls dorm and girls in the guys dorm so if we talked through the windows) when one of the guys in the background passed out and started convulsing. I about had a heart attack. He woke up seconds later laughing. I got them to tell me how to do it and later that night, I gathered a bunch of girls in my room to do the same thing to them. SOMETIMES, instead of having a full on convulsion, your body can just kinda slam itself up against a surface and that's the extent of it. Well, this is what MY body did when I passed out. I guess I slammed myself up against the door, bruising my back against the hinge and smashing my head on the wall. I flippin cracked my skull without breaking the skin. I had a bump on my head for YEARS where a calcium deposit formed to self repair the crack in my skull. Stupid and klutzy all at the same time.

I'm STILL a klutz. When I was pregnant with my first child, the daughter in question, my husband and I were arguing. I got frustrated and turned to walk away. I didn't realize how close to the wall I was standing and when I turned, I ran face first into the corner of the doorway and knocked myself down. We stopped fighting at that point because we were both laughing so hard.

When I was pregnant with my son, we were at the Coca Cola factory with some visiting friends. I, for whatever reason, thought it'd be fun to wear a short dress and some cute platform wedges. After standing in line for about 45 minutes, we get to the front near a gentleman talking to the crowd on a microphone. As they let the next group, our group, into the museum, I tripped. Right in front of the guy with the microphone. I skinned my hands and was bleeding from both knees. The wonderful man with the microphone forgot to take it away from his mouth before helping me up and asking if I was ok... so roughly at least a hundred people heard him ask the klutzy pregnant woman if she was alright. My poor husband was both concerned and embarrassed when he realized who the guy was talking to, turned around and saw me sprawled out on the ground.

My daughter has fallen off our table and busted her chin wide open... twice. She has fallen off the swings at school backwards and cut her back. I've watched her trip over her own two feet like an uncoordinated puppy countless times. I've even seen her shoot herself in the eye with a water gun. If she's anything like me, there's no hope. She will forever be a klutz, just like her mother. I just pray that her klutziness doesn't rack up our medical bills the way I did for my parents. I also hope that she meets a man who is ok with her "flaw" and is able to find it cute and funny the way my husband does.

Wannabe Supermom. Successful Super Klutz.

Encourage One Another

This post will be quick and simple.

Last night was a really rough night for me. In many ways. Being the woman that I am, I needed to talk about it. I ended up writing last night's post, talking to my husband, my father and a few good Christian women.

I have to say that encouragement and prayer does much more for the soul than one may think. It felt so good for my husband to reassure me that I'm a good mom, despite how I felt, instead of him telling me what I should be changing or working on. It encouraged me for my father to let me know that he thinks I'm a great mom and to pass on parenting wisdom to me. It lifted my soul to know that other women were praying for me as I struggle with my journey as a parent.

If you want to be there for some one, the best thing you can do for them is listen and encourage. The last thing in the world I needed to hear was something like, "Oh, well you need to be doing this differently." or "Stop doing what you're doing because it's obviously not working." or "No way! Your kid did that? That's awful!" I didn't need to hear any of that and thankfully, I didn't. God has blessed me with some pretty wonderful people in my life.

A special thank you to my husband, for your continued support and belief in my capabilities, and my father for your encouragement and for continuing to pass on Biblical wisdom. To both of you for being loving men. I need men like you in my life, especially while trying to raise a son. I am thankful for both of you!

If you know some one who's going through something tough, pray for them today. Even if you don't tell them. You will do more good for them than you can imagine.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Still Just a Wannabe

When I started this blog, I kinda made a joke out of the whole "Wannabe Supermom" title. I wanted to be a part of an "elite" group of women who are fantastic mothers, who have happy husbands, well behaved and well rounded kids and who can do anything and everything under the sun. Like a stepford wife but with out all the fakeness. I made fun of the title but I wasn't joking about wanting to be one of those fabulous moms. It's pretty much my job. I am a wife and a mother and that's it. So I should and do want to be the best at what I do.

I didn't expect to become a Supermom over night. Actually, I pretty much figured that this would be a journey I was on till the day I die. I will never be a perfect mom and never expected to be. Doesn't mean I don't want to be. However, I never expected digression. I never expected to become a worse mother in the process.

When we had been going out for a few months, my husband got me a puppy. A beautiful female boxer which we named Stella. She was meant to be a companion for his (which became our) male boxer, Spike, and also to be a "tester". He said that we should first try raising a puppy and if we could accomplish that as a team, then maybe we could handle kids together. With that rational, I'm not sure why we ever thought it would be a good idea to have kids. She was a gorgeous puppy and she grew up into a beautiful dog. However, she has got to be one of the nuttiest dogs I've ever met. And it has taken us YEARS to calm her down and keep her on our property. I can't tell you how many times she's run away, how many crates she's broken out of, how much food she's stolen, or how many people she's flipped out on. She's a great dog now. Still a little nutty but good. I should have learned from raising her though that maybe I'm not really cut out for this whole "mom" thing like I thought I was.

Tonight showed me that I have more work to do than I realized. Tonight made me question my ability to be a good mom. I wont go into details. We'll just say that I'm "that" mom. The one who marches out of the church sanctuary in tears of embarrassment, dragging her kids behind her because one of them was SO bad during the Christmas program. Not being able to control my child in the least bit has made me wonder, "Why in the world did God think it was a good idea to give a woman like me a child... or 3...?" I've mentioned before that God doesn't give us more than what we can handle. He wont allow us to be tried or tempted beyond what He knows we are capable of dealing with. I wish I understood His thinking better. Because I have NO clue what I'm doing here. And its beginning to overwhelm me.

I used to suffer from some pretty serious depression. I tried therapy, medication, counseling and some more destructive means of "dealing". In one of my "sessions", I was once told that if I didn't like something about myself or my circumstances that all I had to do was change it. Well, I say the same thing about my (former) depression as I do with the current situation that I'm in. If I knew how to change it, I would. It's not like I  want to be in this situation. I didn't know then what exactly was wrong and I don't know now what exactly is wrong (with my parenting). I have no idea how to control my outrageously unruly 2 year old. I can not express how many different approaches I've tried. It is incredibly frustrating.

Some people say it's a phase he's going through. Well, why didn't my older daughter go through this phase? You can't tell me it's because he's a boy because I have come across, very often, extremely well mannered little boys. It's not because he's being taught to be this way. The level of craziness that pours out of this adorable child is not shown or expressed or displayed in any means in his presence. Ever.

The part that makes it the hardest is that even though I was mortified at his behavior and ashamed that my child would act like that in public, I have to repress my anger and frustration and love him. It is not easy. I mean, it's much easier in the role of mother than it is as wife or friend. Seriously. If a friend of mine acted in a manner that embarrassed me to my core or was as disrespectful, I'd just end the relationship. Can't do that with my child. Don't want to do that with my child. Will never do that with my child. But I have to not only forgive him but not dwell on his actions and move on. I have to keep hugging and kissing and teaching and disciplining. Its really not that hard because he is my little boy. It is tough though to forget the frustration and level of mortification that I experienced this evening. I have to keep fighting though. He is my little boy and I do love him with all my heart and want what's best for him.

I guess part of me always assumed that I would eventually have a moment as a mom where I'd question my ability as a mother. I was a pretty rebellious and wild adolescent. My husband had his moments too. So I just figured that one, if not all, kid would do something so off the wall or so crazy that I'd wonder where I went wrong as a parent. I just didn't expect it to happen so soon.

I've got a lot of praying to do, a lot of soul searching and a lot of investigating to do. Taking a microscope to my parenting skills is going to be tedious. Being conscious of every little thing I say and do and possibly changing some if not all of those things is going to take a whole lot of time and dedication. I can't say that I'm really looking forward to it. However, I don't want to miss ANOTHER (no, this is not the first one we've walked out of early) Christmas program due to my uncontrollable child. I don't want to have all the parents at the library shoot me dirty looks as I try to quench another temper tantrum. I don't want the waitress to give bad service again because she is dreading cleaning up the mess after we leave. I'm not allowing these things to happen. I'm just unable to prevent them and end them.

Tonight is a hard slap in the face with the realization that I am STILL a wannabe and far from loosing that part of the title. Some one recently complimented me by suggesting that I could be considered an "expert in my field", that field being motherhood. I laughed then but cry now because I know I'm so far from it.

Tomorrow is a new day. A new chance to do things right. Another opportunity to be a good mom. Tomorrow, I will still be a Wannabe Supermom but I'll be one with a new resolution, a new determination and a few new goals.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Pregnant Virgin Mary

It is Christmas time once again. The "season" starts earlier and earlier every year. By the time my kids are parents, Black Friday sales will probably start some time after the fourth of July. I wont lie, I get a little wrapped up in it. I love this time of year and it is so hard not to get overly excited about it. I decorated much earlier this year. I started working on the gifts much earlier as well (partially because my idiot self decided to hand make every one's gifts this year... stupid... ) and I began planning our Christmas dinner menu earlier this year too. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the "fun" of it all and totally forget what we're really celebrating.

I've been trying this year to make sure the kids understand what Christmas is all about. It's Jesus' "birthday". That is what we're celebrating. Not Santa (although we do the whole Santa bit in our home), not gifts, not lights and toys and cheer. We are celebrating the birth of our Lord. It IS what Christmas is about. I realized today though that I wasn't doing a good enough job of getting through to the kids when a commercial came on and the music was fun and there was ribbon flying and people smiling and dancing and my three year old daughter screams and points, "Look, Mom! There's Christmas!"

Ugh. Fail.

I tried to explain to her what she was watching and reminded her that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus being born. I know she's young and that she'll get it eventually but if I don't start now, it may get lost along the way.

I started thinking though about the Christmas story. I have often read the story of Jesus' birth from the gospels in the Bible. I have often tried picturing what the stable looked like that night. What the town of Bethlehem looked like back them. Today though, my thoughts took an interesting turn. Maybe because I'm a mother now or maybe because one of my children is still a baby. I'm not sure.

I've wondered before about what Jesus was like as a baby. As an infant. Did he cry? Did he get fussy when he was teething? Did he get restless at night and keep Mary awake? My guess is yes. Although he was God come down, He was also human. And human babies cry and they get hungry and they stay awake at all the wrong times. I came to this assumption a long time ago.



However, today, my thoughts turned to Mary. May I just say that she had to have been one incredible woman! Not only was she seen by God as fit to carry his Son and raise Him (which in and of itself is the greatest honor any woman could receive) but she traveled and went through all kinds of emotional upheaval during her pregnancy.

We're told that Mary was a virgin and that she was engaged to Joseph, who I am assuming was also a righteous individual. Then, out of the blue, an angel shows up (which alone would have scared the life out of me) and tells her that she will be pregnant with and give birth to the prophesied Messiah, the Son of God, the Savior of mankind. Are you kidding me? My heart would have stopped right then and there. I'd have either keeled over out of shock or at least passed out. But there's the first of many differences between Mary and I. She had such faith in God, she had her heart so lined up with His will that she accepted what was told to her and went on. Can you imagine the emotions she must have went through? Her human body was going to give birth to a human baby. Virgin and all, she was pregnant. A woman's hormones go NUTS when she's pregnant. Ask my poor husband. He stays clear of me for the first 3 months and the final 2. But having to deal with the emotions of being a pregnant virgin, dealing with a society that scorned unwed mothers, having to attempt to explain being a pregnant virgin to her fiance and her friends and family. The tears she must have shed. Regardless of how righteous of a woman she was, this had to be hard for her. It couldn't have been easy to face. Down right scary.

Thankfully, God also came to Joseph and told him what was going on. That poor man must have been going crazy too. Even though he was most likely a righteous man himself, hearing that your fiance was pregnant with the child of God had to be pretty tough to swallow. He was planning on dumping her. Until God told him what he was to do.

So, poor Mary is going through all these emotions and a marriage and visiting family and then she and Joseph have to travel to partake in the census. I just did a little bit of quick research and they had to travel roughly 80 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Ok, today, that would have been about an hour and a half driving time. In all seriousness, in the final few weeks of this last pregnancy for me, I hardly left the house because I was so afraid of popping out the baby in the middle of the grocery store. There's no way I'd drive an hour and a half away. I missed my Dad's retirement ceremony and party because I was due about 2 weeks after it and was afraid to drive 10 hours away from home. I understand that they HAD to go but she had to know she was close to the end of her term and it had to be nerve racking. Let's say that they were going about 3 miles an hour. I'd be surprised if they were even going that quickly but let's just speculate here. It would have taken them almost 27 hours with out stopping. Any woman that's ever had a baby though knows that it wouldn't be without stopping. First, she wouldn't be walking if she was on her feet. She'd have been wobbling. And she'd have gotten tired and out of breath. If she was riding the donkey like is commonly depicted, she would have gotten sore really quickly. Not to mention trying to hold on if she had been having contractions. And don't get me started on having to pee every 5 minutes. Either God spared her of all this or it took them like 4 days or more of traveling. How frustrating would that be?

Now, upon arrival to Bethlehem, all of the inns were full. The poor woman had to go sleep in a stable. I've got no clue what beds were like back then or if they lived in a home with tiled floors or anything but I would imagine that their home was a lot cleaner than a barn. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the barn, with all the dirty animals pooping where they stood, was not anywhere close to being a sanitary environment. I don't know how long they were there before she went into labor but she had to be freaking out a little bit. Just a little. No woman wants to give birth to her baby in a barn. But she did. And she took care of Him and she survived the whole ordeal.
I know that this happened a long time ago but I can't help it. My heart goes out to her knowing that what she went through mentally, emotionally and physically to give birth to God's Son had to be difficult. This, obviously, is one of the reasons why God chose her though. She probably handled it gracefully with faith that could have moved mountains. She had the support of her husband who was in close communication with God as well as other family members who were also strong in their faith, strong enough to be worthy of parenting John the Baptist. I admire her strength. And I appreciate what she went through as a human woman to honor God's will and give birth to our Savior. 

The true meaning of Christmas:

"This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.' All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will be with child and they will call him Immanuel' which means, 'God with us.' When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus." Matthew 1: 18-25

"In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, 'Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.' Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, May, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.' 'How will this be,' Mary asked the angel, 'since I am a virgin.' The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth, your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.' 'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered. 'May it be to me as you have said.' Then the angel left her." Luke 1: 26-38

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And every one went to his town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:1-7

May you all remember the real reason for this "season". I pray that you are able to accept and receive the most wonderful gift that will ever be offered to you. The gift of salvation through the Son of God, Jesus Christ. If you don't know what I'm talking about or would like to know more, please feel free to leave me your email address and I will gladly respond! Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Healthy Dose of Humility: A Real Live Supermom

This happens often. I don't plan on writing anything. In fact, I plan on NOT writing anything because I have so much stuff that I have to get to. But, as is often the case, something comes up that affects me to the point that I feel the need to share it. Tonight, such a thing has happened.

When I was in college, I started out studying journalism. I love to write and wanted to do it professionally. I wont lie, I'd still love to. It's actually a dream of mine. However, I had another dream too. So I changed my major to Women's Studies. I wanted to be able to council women somehow. In all honesty, while this is something that I still have a passion for, I am glad that certain things fell through and I never completed this course of study. I don't think I was ready for it and I'm not sure that even now that it would be the best thing. I still have a lot to learn about life. Like tonight. Tonight, I was humbled by one woman's incredible and touching story.

Heather Von St James is a Mesothelioma survivor. I read her story tonight at http://www.mesothelioma.com/. I can't get over her attitude about all of it. While reading her articles, I was moved to tears more than once. Years ago, as a brand new mother, she was diagnosed with cancer. At the young age of 36, her whole world, and the world of her loved ones really, was turned upside down. However, she had an incredibly positive attitude about it. I almost never have a positive attitude. She gets cancer months after giving birth to her first child and later has a lung removed and she's upbeat and optimistic. She is sharing her intimate story.

Talk about being put in my place. How often I take life for granted. I grumble at the fact that my husband has to work on a project far from home. He doesn't have cancer though. I get annoyed at the small medical bills we have to pay. I don't have to pay for CT scans and plane trips to special hospitals and surgeries and whatever else health insurance doesn't cover. I get to spend all day every day with my beautiful children. This poor woman missed crucial months of her daughter's life due to her own illness. We're so quick to forget that there are people out there with real problems. People who are sick or who's entire universes are shattering with small sentences like "You have cancer."

God tells us that He wont allow us to be tempted with more than we can handle resisting. God must see women like Heather or my grandmother as real Superwomen. Heather didn't let any of what she went through hold her back. My grandmother, who still had to go through radiation and chemo regardless of the fact that surgery removed her cancer since she had an aggressive protein in her body, still works and takes care of her herd of dogs and her horse and a ridiculous amount of other things. I know another young woman, not much older than me, who has cancer... again... and is going to school and working and taking care of her son and volunteering. These women blow my mind. And humble me. I can't say that I would be able to handle what they've been through and are going through. Which may be the reason why I'm not in their shoes. God knows how strong they are and that they can handle this trial with His help. I think He knows that I am not as strong or as courageous. I think He knows that I would have a hard time sharing my story, unlike Heather who is using her experience to help and encourage others.

Whether or not these women will read this, I wanted to thank them for being a great example. For putting me in my place. For being strong. Women like them make a difference. Women like Heather, who's optimism and cheerful attitude in spite of what she went through, will help other women find their potential. Help them find their inner Superwoman.

Tonight, I stand in awe of a true Supermom: Heather Von St James.


On a really random side note, I had two articles published on http://www.wikimommy.com/. They are featured on the front page (scroll down, under "Motherhood"): Keys for Becoming a Successful Supermom and Ways for a Mother to Maintain a Positive Attitude. Actually, now they seem a little silly considering I am standing in the shadow of a truly positive Supermom but there they are. The site is fun and informative for all mothers. Check it out!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tossing Traditions

It is amazing how different the years can be. How one year can be so totally opposite from the last. This is the case for us this year.

 Last year at this time, my husband was working on a project states away but he was able to come home every weekend, sometimes for really long weekends. I only had two kids but was pregnant with the third. We were spending ridiculous amounts of money on the kid's Christmas presents (something we later regretted mostly because they got tired of opening gifts and we spent HOURS opening their gifts FOR them... spoiling kids is a stupid idea). I shed some sweat and tears while trying to get the kids to hold still for their photos at the studio. We decked the house out with decorations, inside and out. Our house looked like some of Santa's elves were smoking some special stuff and were let loose on our property.

This year, my poor husband is on a very demanding project even further away than the last and went over 2 months with out being able to come home. He was home for a few days and had to go back. We decided to be wiser and not get outrageous amounts of gifts for the kids this year. We even did some Black Friday shopping. I am not taking the kids to get their pictures taken this year. It'd be a nightmare. So I'm doing it myself. Should be interesting but in all seriousness, I'll get exactly what I want instead of the cheesy stuff that hundreds of other people will be getting as well. We decorated this year but since my poor hunny is out of town again, I'd have to put up all our yard decorations by myself. Those things are such a pain in the butt. No bueno. Plus, I'd have to wait until all three of the kids were in bed, which would mean that it'd be dark out and have I ever mentioned that I'm afraid of the dark? Really, I am but I'm just using that as an excuse not to do it.

It's hard to keep traditions when nothing stays the same. This year, I've decided to make it a tradition to not be traditional. We'll do somethings the same but I think it'll be fun if every year, something different takes place. I'm still trying to figure out what to do to make this Christmas season unique that we wont do again but that's a work in progress.

The traditions that we WILL keep are:

Making cookies for the neighbors
Going to church on Christmas Eve
Eating McDonald's chicken nuggets after the Christmas Eve service
Opening one present on Christmas Eve before bed
Doing the candy Advent calendars with the kids
Buying a new Christmas ornament
New outfits for the Christmas Eve service
Watching A Christmas Story and White Christmas
Reading the Christmas story from the Bible on Christmas morning before anything else
Driving around at night looking at people's houses all decorated with lights

I feel like I'm missing something but I can't put my finger on it right now. I'm sure that my husband will let me know once he reads this.

I'm hoping and praying it snows on Christmas night again this year like it did last year (snow in Atlanta on Christmas... who'd have guessed?). I'm looking forward to starting new traditions and maybe ignoring some old ones but what I'm looking forward to the most is spending time with my happy little family. Nothing makes me more content deep in my soul.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Today I was watching TruTV's "Top 20 Most Shocking". Some of the things on that show are SO outrageous. The kind of stuff that is so startling and disturbing that it's almost impossible to look away. Many times while watching this afternoon, I would gasp and either cover my eyes or cover my mouth or say something like, "Oh my gosh!" "No Way!" "Oh no!". It hadn't even occurred to me that I was doing it until I hear some one else gasp and then squeal. I look over and my 2 year old son is staring at the tv with his hands over his mouth. I just stared. Another clip of some stunt gone wrong plays out on the TV screen. I watch my son. He again gasps, squeals and covers his mouth. He was totally mimicking me. I cracked up. Mostly because of how cute it was but also because I know he really had no idea what he was watching. It got me thinking though. What else do my kids see and hear me do that they copy?

My 3 year old daughter recently entered the tattle tale stage. It's honestly annoying. I'm so tired of hearing, "Mommy! Anthony is looking out the window!" "Mommy! Anthony is sitting on the dog's bed!" "Mommy! Anthony hurt me!" "Mommy! Anthony stole my toy!" I'm considering changing my name to something long and difficult to pronounce. Anyway. Half the stuff she tattles about isn't a big deal or it's an accident. So I'll often end up saying, "It's ok. It happens." Well, the other day, my son did something that upset himself and I heard my daughter say, "It's ok. It happens."

Anyone who's ever been around kids knows that they copy the things they see and hear. I remember working at my school's 'after school' day care program. One day, while supervising 3 year olds on the playground, I bent over to pick something up. My low rise pants must have shown a little too much (hey, I was a teenager and we all do dumb things when we're teens) because I hear a little boy behind me say, "Look, Miss Abby! I see the moon!" referring to my rear end. I was mortified. Looking back, I'm pretty sure it's one of the funniest things I've ever heard. But something like that, he learned at home or from some one else. He didn't come up with it all on his own.

Years ago, while I was living in Pittsburgh, there was a story that was played over and over on the radio about an 8 year old little boy who stole his grandmother's car, drove it around a parking lot with a 13 year old boy in the passenger seat, smoking cigarettes and crashing into other vehicles. When interviewed about it, the little boy said, "I like being bad. I like doing that hood rat {stuff}..." How sad is that? An eight year old boy using the words "hood rat" and thinking it's cool. Shame on the people who are supposed to be taking care of him for teaching him that it's good and funny to be destructive and foolish. But kids learn from what they're taught.

I knew I needed to watch what I say and do in front of my children. It's one of the MANY reasons why I quit smoking. How am I supposed to be able to tell my kids not to do it when I was doing it? It all brings me back to my previous point of doing my best as a parent to make sure my children understand what is right and wrong. One day, I wont be with them 24/7. I wont be the only influence in their lives. One day, they will be mimicking some one or something else. The next Lady GaGa? The next 16 and Pregnant? The snobby kids at school? The pervert coworker? The teacher with a potty mouth? They will one day be surrounded by people and things that they will want to copy because its funny or pretty or popular. Well, "what is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular." If I live my life in a way that is above reproach and my children mimic my actions and life until I have to "set them free" then hopefully they will continue to act out what they've learned.

I've got a lot of work to do. It's not going to be easy to consciously watch everything I do and say and watch and listen to. My daughter already tells me, "Mommy, turn off the TV. We watch too much (something I've been trying to explain to them when I turn it off). I want music. LOUD music. Rockin and rollin music." She is already being highly influenced by my own choices. It's past time I started making the right ones. Only God is going to be able to help me with this one. Only by His grace and mercy and faithfulness will my actions positively affect my children. Phew. Got a LOT of praying to do!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's Worse: A Noble Knight or a Romantic Vampire?

I wasn't planning on posting tonight because I'm so stinking tired but here I am again. If I don't make sense or you can't follow my train of thought, forgive me. My 5 month old and my 3 year old daughters are sharing a room now... No one sleeps. Me especially.

Anyway. For whatever reason, lately I've been wondering what kind of guys my daughters will date. My three year old has been saying for months now that "boys are yucky" and honestly, I'm hoping she feels that way until after she acquires her MD and stars her own practice. I just wonder though. Will they date some one like their dad? Will they not be able to date because of their over protective brother? Will they be influenced by society or be "free thinkers" and make their dating choices based on an awareness of themselves? It may seem silly to worry about this since they're so little but I think that there are certain things that kids need to be "taught" starting at a really young age or it'll be harder to help them understand as they get older. How they see themselves and others of the opposite sex is something that I want my girls (and son) to understand so that maybe they will have the knowledge that will help them avoid some really dumb decisions.

One of the things that pushed me to write this at this moment is that Twilight is on TV. Laugh at me if you want but I loved the books and think the movies are cute. Set aside the blood and the feuding and the vampires and werewolves and quarreling, its a pretty romantic story. Yup. I'm a grown women who likes reading about high school vampires falling in love with human girls and then arguing with werewolf teenagers about who gets to marry the girl. Don't tell any one.

I find it almost bizarre though how in a few days, when the next movie in the saga comes out, that there will be hoards of young girls swamping the movie theaters. Many of these girls will have been at the theater for days, camping out, waiting for their turn to get in and watch the silly story unfold even further. I know that part of it is the actual story from the books and that the other part is the good looking young men who play these characters (hey, they're over 18... its not weird for me to say they're good looking!) Maybe its weird to me because I was never a part of or even exposed to the craze of the boy bands or the Titanic or yeah, even The Notebook. I hated Backstreet Boys or... hahaha, I can't even remember any of the other names. It just wasn't my cup of tea. It is just a strange concept to me that these girls are SO obsessed with the characters in this story that it is all they can think about. They dream of meeting those idolized actors. They're consumed with it.

I had posters of Vin Diesel and Arnie on my wall as a teen so I understand physical attraction. But I wasn't crying myself to sleep or seeking these men out or dating guys that looked just like them. Well... I dated a couple bald guys but I don't think that had anything to do with my attraction to Vin Diesel.

I hear parents complain about how the Disney Princesses and their stories set up our daughters for unrealistic expectations in their "mate seeking" or their dating life. The rich, handsome prince on his gorgeous horse rescuing the fair maiden and whisking her away to his palace effects girls to the point that as they get older, having been "brainwashed", they feel that men are supposed to be dashing and that you're only supposed to seek out the handsome, rich guys with good jobs and posh houses and fly rides. I watched ALL the Disney princess movies and loved them and didn't grow up feeling this way. My parents taught me to be aware of myself and happy with who I am as a person and then, when ready, to find a man who was respectful and respectable and loving and who thought the world of me. I'm not about to pretend that I listened all the time but that's what I was taught.

When it comes down to it all, I'd prefer my daughters to fall in love with a dashing prince than a lonely vampire... or his buff werewolf counterpart. I need to figure out the best way to help them understand though, to not be pushed around and formed by society. I want them to figure out who they are as individuals before they start falling head over heals in love with some one. I know I'm saying "I want" a lot but I don't think it's wrong for me to say that as a mother. I've lived and fell and learned enough in my life to know a little bit about love. And the unrealistic expectations set up by our blood sucking hopeless romantic is, in my opinion, a little more dangerous than the ones built by our noble prince. The obsessively doting "undead" vs the honorable royal. Hmm... no brainer there.

My point is that it's up to me (and my husband) to make sure that my daughters understand what's really important when it comes to who they date. Society and their paranoia over Disney brainwashing my kids while their own children are forming vampire clans can kiss my... well, they can get a grip. If my daughters choose to date some one that's royalty and is classically handsome with a cool palace and job security instead of some guy that sneaks into her bedroom with freakish stealth and seduces her with his undead sensuality, I'm more than ok with that.

And now its time for this Wannabe Supermom to hit the hay.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'M a Real Housewife!

I'm going to embarrass myself here. I'm going to tell you what my secret  indulgence is. I hope my dad never reads this post because he'll tease me so bad because it's such an empty headed bubble gum guilty little pleasure. Ok. Here goes nothing.

I'm am obsessed with the Real Housewives shows on Bravo TV. I use the word "obsessed" loosely though. It wouldn't kill me if I had to stop watching and I'd never try to meet these women. I like to watch and I do DVR all the episodes of all the different "locations".

When I first started watching, I was totally flabbergasted that they would even make a show about housewives. But there's shows about EVERYTHING these days. I mean, come on, Storage Wars (which I'm not making fun of because I really like that one too but still...), Lady Hoggers, Hoarders (I can't watch that one because just the idea of it is really sad to me) or Fashion Hunters? I mean. Really. We are a bizarre society. Myself included. Back then though, I just didn't see the point in filming a bunch of housewives. What's to film? Changing diapers? Doing laundry? Loading and unloading the dishwasher? Picking up dog poop or taking the kid to soccer practice? Hmm... I quickly realized though that these women are not typical housewives. Shoot. Half of them aren't even wives!

I know. I know. The name of the show is more a play on words, a gimmick. And I know I watch it, all of it, but the title still bugs me. I can only think of a couple of women on the show that's an actual housewife. At least not in the way that it really means. These women, if they're even married thus earning the title of "wife", are, with the exception of a couple, are career women. They have oodles of money and don't do any of the normal "housewife" duties. They are able to hire some one to do it for them. I'm not going to lie, if I was making oodles of money, or my husband, I'd hire help in a heart beat. Are you kidding me? My house isn't gigantic but its not small by any means either. I have a hard time keeping up with it. Not to mention all the extra stuff I'd like to be doing with and for my kids, the errands I wish I had help running or the lawn care or the cooking or the accounting. You name it, I'd hire some one to do it for me if I had the money so that I could pursue other things. Like a career or charity work or continuing my education or any number of other things. These "Real Housewives" are anything but. And I'm not knocking them. They're, for the most part, seriously, not all of them, successful, hardworking, driven women. I actually respect a few of them. The rest of them though, make me gasp and frown and shake my head.

This got me to thinking, if a major TV network can call a group of women "housewives" who are very obviously NOT, then what really is the definition of "housewife"? I googled it. According to Google, a housewife is "a married woman whose main occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs, and doing housework." Ok. Spot on. That's exactly what I thought. I asked people on my facebook page what they thought defined a woman as a housewife. I got some interesting answers. Every one had a different response and not all felt the same way about the housewife. I was more impacted though by the feelings between the generations. The younger women felt that the word "housewife" was like being put in a box. The older generations either understood the simplicity AND intricacy of the meaning and didn't seem to mind the term. I once had a man tell me that I wasn't a housewife or a home maker. I was a Domestic Engineer. I thought it was cute and it bore with it a sense of pride. The word "housewife" though, doesn't really bother me. But I feel that, being a mom, I'm a little more than just a housewife, I'm a stay-at-home-mom (quite an upgrade... stated sarcastically).

Long story short, here's how I feel. I'M A REAL HOUSEWIFE! I do not work outside of my home. I work IN and FOR my home. I take care of my husband and all his needs. I take care of my children and all their needs. I take care of my dogs and all their needs. I clean my home (or try to). I do the cooking and the shopping and the organizing, the laundry, the dishes, the socializing. I'm not trying to tally up all the things I do to try to make my role in the home stand out more. I am blessed to be a housewife because my husband goes out and works his butt off. He works long, hard hours with people that he may not always get along with doing work that is physically, mentally and emotionally draining. He gave up his own comfort so that the kids and I are able to enjoy being comfortable. He's a good man. And I am his housewife. Which I think brings him a sense of pride as well. Any way. I'm the woman of the home who stays in our house working on anything and everything under the sun that has to do with our home and family.

Bravo TV can keep their loosely coined term and I will continue to watch as I fold 5 baskets of laundry after I've put all three of my kids to sleep. I know its a silly show and these women are all over the top but I'm hooked. However, I will enjoy knowing that I am more of a housewife than they are (not downplaying the fact that at one point in time, unless their husbands were crazy rich when they married them... or they're not even married... that they at one point in time may have been in my shoes).

This Wannabe Supermom is a NOT a wannabe in the housewife department. And I'm proud of that.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Loosing the Weight: All About Self Control

Alright, the holidays are coming up and I'm terrified. I'm terrified of all the yummy things to eat that I'm going to have to ignore. The smells, the colors, the taste... I LOVE holiday food!

I'm working on loosing the baby weight from my latest baby. With my first child, I gained over 50 pounds. I was "over protective" because I'd lost a baby before that and was nervous about being pregnant again, especially since I have no idea what went wrong the first time. It wasn't THAT hard to loose the baby weight though. I didn't even give it an honest try and lost almost all of it. Almost being the operative word there. With my second child, which I got pregnant with only about 7 or 8 months later, I gained about 30. It took me MUCH longer to loose weight. I'm pretty sure that the only way I lost ANY of it was by smoking. A lot. I quit smoking and about a month later, I was pregnant again. With this last pregnancy, I only gained about 20. Not too bad. However, because I never recovered my original pre baby weight, that's 20 pounds ON TOP OF all my other baggage.

My hunny has been gone for a while on a long project. I've been trying to at least look better than when he left. Which I do. However, I've still got a long way to go. I've been doing yoga with my Denise Austin videos. They work great for building muscles and helping you break a light sweat. I need boot camp though. But squeezing it in while taking care of three young kids, three dogs and everything that goes along with them and the house by myself is killing me.

I have been really trying to figure out what my problem is. I'm only 5' 3". I shouldn't be packing this kind of weight. I mean, I'm not HUGE but I'm sagging in places a 26 year old shouldn't be. I've got some jiggle where it should be firm and lets just face it, having three kids this close ages you... and what happens as you age if you don't take care of things? Gravity some how has a greater effect and pulls a lot harder and faster. I mean, I'm not going to complain about having a larger cup size than I did when I got married but having a couple of deflated balloons strapped to my chest... No bueno.

With a lot of pondering and self examination, I've realized that my biggest problem is self control. I don't have a whole lot of it. Much less than I even realized, actually. Just little things that add up. How much sugar did I just put in my coffee? Did I really just eat a while bunch of cheese balls while making the kids lunches or did I imagine that? You HAVE to taste the cookie dough to make sure your cookies aren't funky. I've been canning and pickling too. I have to make sure my recipes are turning out just right. The kids are having popcorn during "movie time" so I think I will too. Oooo, it's fall. Gotta break out the hot chocolate. Why not add a marshmallow. Its all been adding up with out me even realizing it.

Ever since it dawned on me that self control is my problem, that its why I've got more rolls than a bakery, it's been constantly on my mind. If I can't control myself with food, what else can't I control myself with? It was a startling and embarrassing revelation.

The holidays make me nervous. I'm trying to loose weight. I'm trying to be healthier in my body and in my mind. I'm trying to get back to my pre baby weight because it's a healthier weight, and I know that if I don't tackle this issue now, its only going to get bigger. Pun intended. I'm tired of not fitting into my clothes properly. I'm tired of the kids poking my muffin top. And I'm praying I don't get work out gear for Christmas this year.

As sad as it is, I think that self confidence has a lot to do with how we feel about our appearance. I envy the women who are able to be comfortable with their flaws. I'm not. I'm not ok with how I look and it has turned me into a timid, paranoid, frumpy person. Not at all who I used to be.

I think that at times like these, I understand the importance of "everything in moderation". I am going to be making some yummy desserts and snacks for the holidays. And then of course there's thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. And leftovers. I just have to be conscious of how much I'm eating, what I'm eating and how often I'm exercising.

This is going to be an interesting and sometimes difficult adventure for me. However, this Wannabe Supermom is tired of battling my bulge and is ready to fit back into that spandex superhero suit!

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