Saturday, January 16, 2010

I'm Moving!!!

Well, I am not actually moving but my blog is. I have dreamed of learning how to program my own site that would give me freedom to blog, write, display art, and connect with other creative people. I have researched html, Wordpress, Typepage, etc. Finally, I have done it. I have a fully functioning blog and I plan to add more to the site each month in 2010, so I hope you will join me. You can find me and my antics at:

Drum Roll Please.......

Enjoy and thanks for you loyal support!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ummmmmmm! A Yummy Lifestyle Change

Turkey wrap with lettuce and low-fat wasabi mayo = 250 calories
Harvest Chicken Chowder = 340 Calories

Welcoming In 2010!

Something Painted, Something Knit,
Something Written.....Time to Sit

I have been thinking a lot about my goals/priorities for 2010. I am not huge on "resolutions". However, I do think every year what I want to achieve. Here are a few of my thoughts:
  • Be less self-deprecating
  • Create More
  • Yell Less and Cry More
  • Enjoy Life
  • Cook and Eat more healthfully
  • Work Out
  • Take more pictures
  • Work on my photography
  • Develop a website
  • Create a Peaceful environment for my children
So, I have taken the first few days of this new year to think about how to make this a simple statement. This is what I came up with, "Something Painted, Something Knit, Something Written.....Time to Sit."
Each month I want to do at least one painting, one thing knitted, one thing written and plenty of time to just sit and enjoy my children. As far as the work out/eat healthier, etc.....I have implemented a new "lifestyle change" to get myself in the physical condition I want to be in for my sisters wedding, my 10th anniversary, and just life in general. I will be featuring a little of the recipes and workout plans on my blog too.

So, faithful readers, sit back....enjoy life....and tell me what IT says to you!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How is your mom doing?

I was asked today, "How is your mom doing?"

I smiled and said, "she died." What kind of answer is that? The kind that makes me think my heart has shriveled up and died with my mother. Maybe it froze in the past ice storm. I don't know, but it surprised me!

Then, to make it worse, I giggled. Not the "funny joke" giggle, but the "someone just pulled off my swimsuit bottoms" giggle. That makes a little more sense to me. It is embarrassing. Why couldn't my mom have developed cancer from her drinking like Patrick Swayze or overdose like many others? Instead she slowly killed herself one little drink at a time. I am dreading the question that I know is coming as this year progresses, "How did your mom die?" I have been saying "she was sick for a while". I guess that is true, but it feels like I am hiding from the complete truth.

I have not been to an Al Anon meeting since a year or so before she died. I feel like that is not really the place for me. Those people have alcoholics in their life that are still alive. Do they really want to hear my story of how my mom died, nothing worked, she gave up?

I went to a grieving class at my church....that did not go very well. I did not get to tell my mom goodbye or spend days with family thinking of all the good times we had. I spent the days after her death dealing with the medical examiner, cleaning out her filthy apartment and trying to keep her car from being repossessed. There was a little "thinking about the good times", but it was tainted with the underlying anger and frustration we all felt toward one another for "not doing enough"...."not saving her".

I wish I knew one other person who lost a parent to plain, simple alcoholism. I want to know them and I want them to know me. It feels like a very lonely existence.

Recently, I was at the grocery store buying some cleaning supplies and snacks. I asked that they put it all in one bag. (I forgot my reusable bags, so I only wanted one plastic bag.)

The man replied, "I just didn't want to mix the food and chemicals."

I said, with very little thought, "Oh, we all die eventually."

"Do you consider yourself as a realist or a pessimist?" he asked.

"A realist," I replied, "but good question."

I guess that is where I am right now. I am very optimistic about 2010 and the future with my family, my art, and life in general. But, this is my path. I have to face the difficult questions that have come up over the past year or ten.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Naughty is the New Nice

Here is a little look at our Christmas card from this year. I love Christmas cards, but I am ALWAYS a little late getting them out. So, I have gone to the generic holiday card just in case. I do think everyone received their cards BEFORE Christmas.

I try to do something creative that reflects our past year. Well.....2009 was the year of two 3 year old's....Adam from Jan-July and Nate from December 14th and on. This WILL NEVER happen again. Thank goodness! I tell you three year old boys are a challenge. Now, I can just sit back and wait until my friends with girls have prepubescent daughters....then, maybe they will begin understand the sass! (Now if I can just survive until Nate is 4!) That is my resolution for this year...survive three!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Preparing for Christmas

I really want to teach my children to be good stewards of their things and that we don't need six of everything to function. :) This has been much more difficult than I ever thought it would be. I believe that play is how kids learn and I want my kids to have toys that teach...not just entertain.

I spent a few days playing with the boys trying to evaluate what needed to happen. I realized that we had so much stuff they couldn't maintain the room themselves. We were missing pieces to at least half of our favorite toys.....which I did end up finding. The boys were not all that innovative with their play...i.e. The Little One just liked dumping out all of the toys looking for missing pieces. He was doing this last week and I ran over to him after he dumped over six baskets and pushed every toy off the window ledge.....I said, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

His response, "looking for my friend Nemo!" and he held up a little orange fish.

So, I sat some parameters for the BIG CLEAN.

1. Does the toy have all the parts?
2. Is it something that develops an age appropriate skill?
3. Is it something they love or the giver had special meaning?

Give Away
1. Are most of the parts there?
2. Is it something others would enjoy?
3. Is it a toy that I would approve of in a childcare area my children attend?

If the answer was yes we kept it or gave it away accordingly.

Before I do not buy the boys toys for anything other than birthday and Christmas, but this is where our playroom was last week. Note: I pick it up everyday and this is really not even "that bad". I have seen worse, much worse.

During (I filled six tubs of give away toys).

What I learned:
1. We have done a pretty good job keeping pieces together. I only had to throw away a small bag of toys that were too broken or too few pieces.
2. The boys can pick up their own playroom if it is not too overwhelming.
3. They get along better when the toys are organized in a way that encourages cooperation and learning.
4. They have not noticed anything missing!!!!

Where did the toys go?
1. To a local community group that allows kids that participate to bring can goods in exchange for Christmas gifts to give their parents and siblings.
2. My sisters daycare that is in need of some fresh toys.

Other ideas:
Infant Crisis Services
Local Church Nurseries
YMCA/YWCA Programs