Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Have you ever

Been so pissed at someone that you didn't know what to do? Been so frustrated that you just didn't know how to get through to them? Tried talking to someone about what was bothering you only to get nowhere?

It seems that I'm in this place more often that I would like. I think part of it is that I still haven't learned "not to sweat the small stuff". So, small things bother me. And I can't let them go. And I take everything personally. Everything.

I try so hard to let things roll off my back, but it doesn't happen. Deep down my confidence cracks. Sometimes people don't even know that they can affect me this way. They may say something completely off the cuff and nonchalant and I'll sit and worry over it. I try to just let it go, but I can't.

But, I've learned a way to get past it without affecting anyone else. I write a letter to the person. I tell them how I'm feeling and how what they said affected me. I tell them how I would like them to handle it differently next time. I get it all out.

Now, you're asking, how does this not affect anyone else? Because I don't give it to them. I just sit on it. Sometimes I think about giving it to them, but usually not. I hold onto it for a day or two. Until I feel better. Then I shred it.

It's so freeing. I feel like I'm letting things go, yet I haven't projected my insecurities onto someone else. I've handled them myself. And it's teaching me that I can't change other people, but I can change how I'm affected by things they do to me.

I actually find that I'm a much more peaceful person this way. I used to be very confrontational with people, now I just let things go (in my own way).

How do you handle frustrations and conflict?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


So, ladies, do you love your hair?

It seems like, as women, maybe men too, we have this love/hate relationship with our hair. We hate ours and love everyone else's. If our hair is straight we want it curly, if it's curly we want it straight. We're always striving to have someone else's hair, Jennifer Aniston, Victoria Beckham, Dorothy Hamill (maybe not so much nowadays).

I know I do. My hair is stick straight. And fine. It sucks because it's always limp. If I have it cut shorter then sometimes I can get some volume. But, I really like my hair long enough to put in a ponytail or clip. I've considered a perm, but do people still get perms? Or is that too 80s? I would like just a bit of wave in it. That way I wouldn't have to blow it out every morning. Of course, damn genetics have given one of my daughters the complete opposite. Thick, curly hair. Which she hates. She tries to straighten it all the time only to have it come out completely frizzy. What gives?

And what about color? I've had every color under the sun. It's been purple, orange, red, blonde, brown. Right now it's pretty blonde. I'd like to go towards my more natural light brown, but I'm not sure. It's been blonde for awhile now. And blonde covers all the gray. You cannot believe how much gray I have! I'm thinking of doing brown with highlights, but the maintenance scares me. I usually get my hair cut every 2-3 months. With highlights I'd have to go more regularly.

The good thing is that hair grows back. It's the one thing that I'm willing to take risks with. I've had hair down past my butt and hair shorter than my ears! I've had all sorts of colors and combinations. Bangs, no bangs. Layers, no layers. I like to have fun and experiment with my hair. Because I know that it'll grow back.

So, what about you? Do you experiment? Do you love your hair?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My new addiction


Believe it or not, I just started drinking coffee a few months ago (thanks Starbucks!).

In high school it was cool to drink coffee after a night on the town. We'd all end up at Perkins in the wee hours of the morning and everyone would order a coffee. Except me. I thought it tasted awful. So bitter.

Everyone told me it was an acquired taste, but I wasn't able to acquire it. (Same with beer if you must know.) I just went on with my life without coffee. As an adult I was always offered coffee, but would decline. But, I have to admit I felt like a loner sometimes. (I must have issues, who feels like a loner because they don't drink coffee?)

Then the whole Starbucks explosion happened. And I was even more of a loner. Everyone was always talking about it and carrying around their white cup with the big green logo. I felt like I was missing out on something. It MUST be great if everyone else does it.

So, my first try was a regular old latte. I thought it tasted awful. It tasted like what I thought coffee grounds would taste like. Awful! But, I kept on. A friend suggested a Pumpkin Spice Latte. This was better, but still needed some sugar. THEN, someone suggested a Frappacino. Um, yeah. The addiction began. THOSE are good! And so many flavors.

It didn't help that our grocery store put a Starbucks inside. Every time I went shopping I had to try it. Peppermint Mochas, Eggnog Lattes, Gingerbread Lattes, Iced Lattes in the summer. Yeah, I've tried them all.

But, it was getting expensive. So, I decided to buy myself an cappuccino maker. I'm sure I'd save a ton. I ended up getting a real bargain on a great one at Target! It was only $50 on clearance when they were selling for $200 at Amazon.

I love it! I love that I can make whatever flavor I want and that I can add more or less espresso (I still like it weak) and that I can use my flavored coffees to make it. We made Eggnog Lattes with real egg nog, not just the spice, YUM! And my newest obsession is the International Delights creamers, in particular the Chocolate Mint Truffle. I add a little to my milk when I froth it. It's SO good. I end up drinking quite a bit of coffee thanks to these yummy flavors.

And, now I can finally fit in. I think I feel more "adult" now. Coffee was always something that adults drank and I always felt childish when I didn't. It's weird because I don't feel a need to conform in most areas of my life, but this one really bothered me!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Parenting Advice #1

I'm no expert on parenting. I'll make that really clear. But, I have picked up some tidbits during this 13+ year trek. I figured I might share some of these little bits of sanity with you all, seeing as I've received most of them from my good friends. Most of the time, I say, "Whatever works!" Things may sound weird or totally off the wall, but some of them really do work.

Today I'll share my way to get teenagers to open up. Our problem started in the pre-teen years, about two years ago. We were getting to the point where we always got one word answers. Sometimes we'd even be shunned when trying to talk about embarrassing or controversial things. We'd hear, "Ugh, I don't want to talk about it."

Great! I always hope that I'll be that "cool" mom that my kids will feel comfortable talking to about anything. (Maybe not everything, but most things.) It crushed me to get the cold shoulder. I really wanted to be better and breakthrough to her.

So, where did I go? To my online mommy friends, of course. And one of them told me something that worked for her sister. And lo and behold, it does. And it's simple.

Just get a notebook. And leave it available at all times. And let your child know it's there and that it's always open for them to leave notes about what's bothering them or if they want to talk about something that's uncomfortable talking face to face.

I swear, it works like a charm. Pretty much every discussion we've ever had about sex has been in that notebook. But, that's fine with me, because there have been plenty. And if this is the way it needs to be done, at least it's getting done. We've had some two hour long "discussions" this way. Passing the notebook back and forth.

I think it's just a really non-threatening situation. She's in her room, I'm where ever. There's no "tone" to the writing. No raised voices. No crazy faces and rolled eyes. No judgement. We each actually take the time to think our thoughts through and then write them down.

We've had some major things happen this year. Most are chronicled in that notebook. I'm not sure if I'll save it or not. I'm sure it'd embarrass the hell out of her when she gets older.

But, for now, it works. And for that I'm thankful!

Friday, January 11, 2008

How different could they be?

My children, that is. It's so crazy to se how different they all are, even though they've been raised by the same people and they're made from the same DNA.

Case in point:

Robert's birthday was in October. When I asked if he'd like to invite some friends from school to his party he thought that was a good idea. Now, knowing my child, I decided to press it a little further. I reminded him that if his friends came over he'd have to play with them, he couldn't hide in his room.

See, he had a teacher visit about a month before his visit. (They do that here, the teachers come to the home and play games or read books in the home environment.) But, the first ten minutes he spent hiding in his room. And he'd already been in class for months at this time. And the rest of the time he interacted with her but didn't say one word. Not one for the whole hour. That's just the way he is. He's an introvert like his dad. It's not that he's really shy, it's just that he'd rather be around a few close people. He's not into the big crowd.

So, he thought more about his party and decided that he just wanted his family here, cousins, grandparents. So, that's what we had.

Xander's birthday was yesterday. When he woke up I said, "Happy Birthday big boy!"

To which he replied, "It's not my birthday! Where are my friends? Where's the cake?"

See, he is just like his mama. I love to have parties, love to go to parties, love to meet new people, love to mingle. I LOVE to have people over to the house, be it 2 or 200. That's my thing. I'm in my element in those situation. And Xander is the same. He loves to perform. He loves to have people around. He LOVES to make people laugh.

He was bummed to find out that we weren't having his party until NEXT weekend.

But, we did take him to TGI Friday's, where they sang to him, although he said he didn't like it, he was grinning the whole time. And we did let him open the presents from us last night.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I fell off the wagon

Pretty much any wagon I could fall of, I did. Except the one that Lindsay Lohan fell off. I'm good on that.

I've fallen off of the blogging wagon. I took my time off and now I'm having a hard time getting back on. Part of it is my blogging guilt. I feel bad posting something new when I haven't read all the entries that my friends have posted over the last few weeks. I have to admit that I'm trying to get caught up, but it's overwhelming. I subscribe to 85 blogs. That's a lot of reading! For some reason I feel guilty pressing "mark all as read" or writing a new post that I know will solicit comments when I haven't commented in weeks. But, I'm just going to push on. I'm sorry that I missed your recent posts. If you have one that I should definitely read, like say, you named a child after me or you declared a special day just for me, then let me know. I'll definitely look it up. I have scanned some posts from previous days, but didn't take time to leave a comment. For that I'm sorry. If I try to start from scratch, I think I'll do better.

I've fallen off the weight loss/control wagon. Although, I jumped back on on Monday. I started a new 12 week Body for Life challenge. I worked out on Monday, and I'm still feeling it! I am so sore. I've been doing well on my eating too. No sweets and limiting carbs. I'm not following the eating part as much this time as I went four months without watching my eating or exercising and only gained back two pounds. My goal is to lose eight more pounds, but really, I just need to tone up and feel better. I really noticed a difference when I ate crap all the time. I just didn't feel very good.

I've fallen off of the savings wagon big time. I really went overboard this Christmas. I got a lot of good deals, but I still bought way too much. And I went out the day after Christmas and bought a TON of new stuff for next year. Including my white tree. I'm so excited. It will now mean that we have three full size trees and numerous smaller trees. Everyone thinks I'm crazy. But, I'm getting back on that wagon too. Starting with not eating out and not buying anything online. I know I can do it. I'm thinking about putting a deposit down on a cruise for next year. That way I'll be forced to curb my spending and have something to look forward to.

But, there is good that's come from my break too.

I've become addicted to the Wii. Seriously. We have such a good time as a family playing it. It's just so fun. We play a lot of board games as a family, but this is so much more interactive. It's tons of fun. We just got two more remotes for a total of four so that we can all play at the same time.

I spent a lot of quality time with my kiddos. I was off for almost their whole break. We had fun playing with their toys and reading their new books. We went to Chuck E Cheese and had a "fancy" dinner on New Year's Eve. We visited a lot of family and had a lot of fun.

I started a new family website. I don't give my family the link to my blog because sometimes I need a place to vent about them. And I don't want to feel the need to censor myself. So I started a family page for pictures and videos and journal entries. My family is all on the East coast, besides my parents, so I think it'll be fun for them to be able to check in.

So, I'm getting back on my wagons. And going to go better than ever. Thanks for sticking around!