Monday, August 8, 2011

Perception vs Reality

I know how I want to parent. I know the parent I want to be and the one I want to avoid being at all costs. I also know what a huge chasm separates my perception of the parent I judge myself as being and the parent that I really am. See, all I remember is that I am the bad guy. The one that says "NO!!!". The one that yells only 10 minutes after I vow to myself to stop the yelling. I see grand visions of homeschooling during the summer and then I find myself starting when the summer is halfway through! I tend to focus on my screw ups and failures. I don't want to, I just do.

I realize that kids will be kids and there is never a "perfect" way to parent. Does that stop the inner voice from pointing out what I am doing wrong? Nope. So I do listen to that voice because I think it makes me a better parent. I try to balance the negative inner voice with listening to what my kids are saying. To what other people say when they are around my kids.

I think we (parents in general) are our own worst enemies sometimes. We COMPARE our kids with others and it kind of skews our perception of our own kids. So I try to use it in a positive manner. I try to use the comparison compulsion to improve my parenting and to see the things I want to encourage in my kids. If I see a kid in a store (for example) and they are making their mother crazy with running around or not listening...... I try not to think "I'm glad my kids don't act that way" because sometimes they do. I try to think "If my kids act like that, I think I would try to get them to be my little helpers by putting things in my cart or taking turns pushing the cart." When a neighbor's kid gets wild and starts playing rough, I try to tell myself that my youngest sometimes acts like that and I should point out to him his own reaction when the neighbor's kid gets too rough with him and how others must feel when he gets too rough.

I guess I should be glad that I am so hard on myself because that means I am never taking parenting for granted and I am always thinking about my kids and ways that I can improve my relationship with them and their relationship with people around them. I hope that they have memories as adults of the fun things I choose to do with them and not the yelling mom I tend to see myself as, but as I evolve as a mom, I can always make new memories with them.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Enjoying every day.....

Well, it's almost 1 am. Why am I up? Because my husband just got called in to work. That means somewhere in the world .....could be Iraq, could be Ohio...... a soldier has died. So Z has to go into work to start the process of informing the family. It's the nightmare that every relative of a soldier lives with. We never want to see an officer in uniform with a chaplain knocking on our door. When I think about all of the things he has to take care of and the considerations for the families..... I am amazed that he isn't a wreck! All he thinks about is that the family gets every consideration and assistance and that the soldier is honored in every way.

It's a funny coincidence that the sermon for church today was about living each day as if it was your last. Living to your spiritual fullness. I think back on my day today and remember stomping on the invisible brake on the passenger side of the van (because Z thinks he's a Formula 1 race car driver), and how he grilled up some of the best burgers and corn on the cob for dinner, and how we are lying in bed (pre-bad news phone call) and the last thing he says to me is ....... "I have a myth for the Mythbusters show to try out".

I may complain about the invisible force field around our hamper (that prevents his clothes from making it into the hamper rather than at the foot of the hamper), and about his heart-stopping driving, and how he is just a big mush the second that our youngest gives him the puppy dog eyes to get doughnuts at church......... but I can't imagine what that family will feel when they get that visit at their door. I know it's a possibility, but I thank God every day for my husband. For his political zeal. For his ability to get over being angry after 5 minutes. For his Scooby-Doo laugh. For his enjoyment of watching cheesy movies with me. For his encouragement of the whole family getting fit. For his big heart. For his quest to always better himself. For his always putting others before himself.

I love you Z and I can't imagine how dark and awful my life would have been without you.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My new LOVE!!!!!

Okay, so I have not kept up with the blog......shocker! But, I have been trying to keep the creative juices flowing so I have been knitting. I was talking with a cousin of mine about her knitting (I think it was Thanksgiving) and she said that she has a super long "scarf" that she just keeps working on to practice patterns and such. I said "like a cross-stitch sampler?" and she nodded.........

Can I say how BRILLIANT she is????????

All of my cousins are this way.... if they aren't tall and skinny and gorgeous, then they are muscular and athletic or Marilyn Monroe curvy. Me? I'm the Danny DeVito of the family, in that I got the dregs of the gene pool...... sigh.......I have curves all right, but instead of being Marilyn, I am more of the Violet Beauregarde type curvy.... sad, I know. herring aside, I thought my cousin's idea was fantastic! So I started one...I just opened my knitting books and started trying certain patterns and decreases and increases.

So I didn't get too far but then I tried making a little hair-kerchief and it came out okay....

I'm going to put some beads on the thread on the end and I think it'll look cute. But why did I go through all of this? It was prep work. I was waiting on the UPS delivery of my new love.....

The Denise Interchangeable knitting needles!

You can change the size, the length and connect them for circular knitting needles. They rock!!! I have been on a baby hat kick lately... okay ONLY baby hats, but now? Oh the projects that await me.....

I will not be a slacker. I will not be a slacker.... I WILL NOT BE A KNITTING SLACKER!!!!!

Hugs everyone!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Slacker Extraordinaire!!!!

I may tease my friend Karma about being a slacker, but I think I win the all-time championship award. My last post was in January with many big hopes for the year. I haven't posted since because I suffer from depression. Suffer is a very dramatic word, but appropriate. It can be controlled with medication, but with our insurance sending us to civilian doctors, all of our experiences have been pretty scary. I refuse to self-medicate a la ammaretto, so I am trying to cope. What do I do? I sit around, comfort myself with food and bemoan my situation. Twelve weeks have passed. My hubby should be home by Saturday. I should be happier, but I'm not. Here's the issue.... we will still have to stay in NY!!!! New Yorkers DEFINITELY deserve their reputation! Even the kids! I have to say, though, I have met a few amazingly nice people here. Only 2 in my neighborhood and several at our church. And the nicer ones? Moved here from other states! But otherwise? It's going to be a looooooooooooong 3 years. I have already been subjected to a high school type he said/she said drama. It's ridiculous! So I have come to a conclusion. I will just have to CONCENTRATE on being happy. I will force myself to ignore all of the crappy people and the crappy drama and focus on the boys and myself. I am going to change things by sheer willpower.

I ask myself ( yes, the Talking Heads song "Once In a Lifetime" just popped into my head. If I just gave you an ear worm... you're welcome) "why am I so depressed?" I think because I am without direction. A stay-at-home mom has a steady direction when the kids are young. Now that they are in school, I feel at loose ends. I could go to school...but for what? I still feel like a kid who doesn't know what they want to do when they grow up! But now that Zoli will be coming home, I think it's time to look into local night schools and maybe take a few classes so that I can see what direction I want to go in. I love making crafts and that seems to be what lifts me out of my Entenmann's-devouring funk, but can I make a living at it? Doubtful. But I do have ONE woman who wants me to make a baby hat for her daughter and said she'd pay for it. Maybe this is the start I need...

All I know is this. Instead of hoping and praying for new friends, companionship, a career choice, etc.... I am going to concentrate on the blessings I have. I have AMAZING friends. They just happen to live far away. SKYPE, BABY!!!! That's going to be what I focus on regarding friends. I have amazing friends from living in South Carolina, Texas AND Florida! They are smart, creative, and a blessing to me and my family.

I may hate living here, but there's a lot of historical sights we could go see and enjoy with the boys. We could camp, fish, hike and do other outdoor stuff together. I found a great website called and it is all about doing things in New York and even talks about doing inexpensive things. While the neighborhood kids aren't all that friendly with my boys, I can sign them up for soccer and martial arts and have them meet different kids. I have a nice house, only blocks from my husband's work. The boys are in a good school. Everyone is relatively healthy (allergy sniffles here, sore muscles there). I have a lot to be thankful for and I have decided to concentrate on that. Hugs to you all!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Well, the move from South Carolina has come and gone. We arrived in New York 11:15 pm 10/30. It has been interesting to say the least! We kept homeschooling for a while and even met some other homeschoolers who did some writing and math classes together and a nerf gun war every week. But then my oldest started showing signs of depression. Listlessness, when asked what's wrong, replying "nothing", saying he wasn't hungry (the kid's a bottomless pit!), and he didn't want to go anywhere or do anything. So my husband and I sat down, had a long talk and decided to send them to school. So now it's January. The kids are very happy in school. We are seeing them backslide in a lot of stuff, though. Their beautiful handwriting improvements are all gone. My 5th grader isn't required to write in cursive!!!!! How weird is that? The math seems to have taken a hit as well, so we are going to do some home assigned homework in addition to their regular homework as well.

We made it through Christmas!!!!! It was the most expensive one on record. Not due to the gifts, either! We spent Christmas in Manhattan. We went ice skating in Central Park. Saw the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. Didn't make it to FAO Schwartz, but we will. Saw some amazing window displays. Ate at a lot of expensive restaurants. Enjoyed Christmas with the in-laws. Our budget was $2,000 for the 3 day time period. Of course, as a family of 5, we blew through that and waaaaaaay beyond. We knew we would, so we have been living like paupers this month because of that. Good thing we gave ourselves some cushion! But it was beautiful weather, and the blizzard that came, showed up on the day we were leaving Manhattan, so we just made it out!!!!!! I was really sick through the holiday and that stunk, with the laryngitis and all but survived that too!

On the church front, we started at a Methodist church. It was small and the people very nice. But very few kids attended and mostly girls. Only one bible study offered at a time. Not what we were looking for so we tried the Lutheran Church almost across the street from the Methodist church. WAAAAAAYYY more traditional than we are looking for. No kids church at all. It was very interesting in that they chanted or sang almost the whole service. It made me think that this was what services in the middle ages must have resembled. The church itself was amazing! Beautiful! Dark wood trim and ceiling beams. Detailed stained glass arched windows. If you wanted a storybook small wedding, this is the place! But to go to services? Not for us. We needed something a little bigger. Maybe with women's groups so I can finally meet other women and make some friends here. So I started to think...... it always starts with the music. It may sound weird, but the music is what first pulls us (my hubby and I) in. We like contemporary Christian music. Hmmmmmm.......contemporary music not traditional Christian music. Traditional......... we have been going to traditional services! That's it! Or old beloved church in FL used to have a traditional service AND contemporary services! So I googled Contemporary church, Queens NY and found the Journey Church. It is held in a high school (which to me said it was a sizeable congregation unlike the two churches we have already tried) and even boasted of rockin', contemporary music! So this weekend we tried it.......LOVED IT! The boys came out from church and begged to come back. So did I! LOL! I hope we can connect with some of the people there, I am hoping to join one of the bible studies that starts in Feb.

So things are looking up! Potential for FINALLY making some friends and not being so lonely, walking and working out to lose weight, and found a church that speaks to us!

Now we are doing some planning for this year. The Army is sending Z to a school for 12 weeks at the end of February. So all the honey-do stuff needs to be honey-DONE! Like car repairs, etc. Also, we need to make a decision about the rv. We would really like to travel around the northeast, seeing all of the things we have read about until now. To do that, we'd like the rv. The only problem is Z would have to fly to San Antonio and drive it back. Also, we'd need to find a new company up here that would rent it out for us when we aren't using it. Plus, we need to decide if we are going to just rent the entire time we are here or if we could find a foreclosure-fixerupper and fix it up and move into it. It should be an interesting year for us. Also the 20 year reunion for high school and 10 years since September 11th. The memorial is supposed to be finished by then and I plan on going. My parents say they will be going too..... A big year ahead. Hope it is a blessed one for all of my family and friends.