November 27, 2011

Cheap, In-Home Therapy......For All Ages!

There are days around here when I'm just not sure I'm going to make it to the end of the day in one piece. I watch three different clocks and my watch waiting for bedtime. And it's not just because of the kids. Sometimes, I just want to sit in bed, read a book, and be quiet. 

During those in-between hours of the day, the kids fight a bit more, which causes me to stress a bit more. Something I learned a few years ago that (almost) always helps curb the insanity is something I want you all to try. Play Doh. I know it sounds crazy, and I know some of you have Play Doh fears like I do... all the little pieces that fall to the floor then harden in the carpet, or even the mixing of colors.  But I've learned(and I know you can too!) to ignore those little pieces, and just focus on what is right in front of you. 

No matter what color you choose, just take a few minutes to smoosh it, ball it up, or create something adorable. Tell the kids to make something but keep it a surprise....that usually keeps them quiet while working on their mystery project. While those few seconds of quiet surround you, just continue to work with the Play Doh. Clear your mind, and just focus on what you are doing. It may sound silly, but you'll see. Before you know it, a wave of calm comes over you, and whatever is going on in life fades away. 

Even if it's only for a short period of time before/after dinner, it's still a peaceful time in the house. For my boys it can be upwards of an hour of sharing and giggling at their masterpieces. For me, it's time to clear my head, remember what's important in life, and make some pretty neat things.

Oh, and for those of you that really are Play Doh junkies, don't forget to buy your special guy some yummy cologne for Christmas :)

November 5, 2011

My Life in Tangled Yarn.

Last night, I was just about finished with a blanket I've been crocheting for quite some time now. I was |this close| and suddenly I hit a snag. A tangled web of yarn that brought me to a screeching hault...argh!!! I could have just cut the yarn at the knot, and started again, but I  refused and continued to try to untangle it.  As I sat and attempted to make my way through all the little loops and twists, it made me start thinking about my life.

It's no secret that my life has been full of twists and turns the last two years. Many bumps, many complicated knots, many tears. But I saw my end goal. I knew where I was heading, just had to off-road a bit to get there. Slowly but surely, I've found the other end of my yarn of life. I see now that all of the knots I had to undo were very worth the stress and aggravation.

The nice part that ties together this little blog post is my guy. He not only helped me untangle my yarn to finish the blanket this morning, but he also helped me find the end of my metaphoric yarn in life, and is the best end product I could ever have.

November 4, 2011

Thank You! No, No.......THANK ME!!

What the frig is going on with kids these days? I'm not old. I don't really mean the little ones. I mean the high schoolers, college kids, fresh out of school kids. Is no one taught manners anymore?

I'm tired of going to stores, saying thank you to a cashier, and getting no response. Or the other day one actually replied with a closed mouth 'mm-hmm'. REALLY? I'm buying things in YOUR store, paying YOUR salary, saying thank you for YOUR goods, and you can't even answer me? Not to mention the fact that they should be initiating the 'thank you' process. 

Or how about the other night, while I was giving out Halloween candy? 90% of the kids don't say thank you. Suddenly, half way through, I realized I was saying thank you to them! It's such a habit for me, I don't even know when I'm saying it anymore! (sidebar: I also refused to give the kids candy until they said 'trick or treat'. Hey, thems the breaks.)

One thing I've worked on since my boys were in diapers was their manners. Ask anyone that knows us, they will tell you I have two of the most polite boys any age range, including adults. Please. Thank You. May I? Sounds simple right? I've gone above and beyond those with the boys, and they know to shake someone's hand when they meet them, give compliments, and open doors for others. 

It would be easy to just say I did that as a responsible mom, but it's more important to note that I did it as a responsible human being. The simple act of thanking someone, for something they did for you or gave you, has a snowball effect. Try it next time you are working in a retail setting. Or someone holds the door for you. Or helps you. You get the point. Modeling is the best way to teach our children :)

November 1, 2011

Misconception Perception.

I've just gotta tell you about what I saw today, and I'm sure you will all nod your heads and know the type.

A woman in the store, at the checkout. Dressed pretty nice, fancy-ass purse, expensive glasses and shoes, diamonds on both hands. Obviously doing just fine. But then, when it comes time to pay for her groceries, she pulls out her food stamps card. W.T.F. Seriously? You obviously have enough money for the finer things in life, but not enough to feed yourself and/or your family? Is this what our society has become?

I'm sure you've encountered this before. I saw it today. However, I didn't see it from the next spot in the checkout line. I saw it from the inside out. That woman, the woman that obviously is doing just fine and dares to take advantage of money that others need, that's me.

A few months ago I just could not make ends meet. I'm a single mom. I had a part-time job at a school, but summer was upon us. I had no savings, no backup plan, no new job on the horizon. My pride gets the best of me sometimes, but this time was different. I needed help, and didn't know what else to do. I mentioned it to a friend, and she told me to try to get assistance. I was instantly horrified and embarrassed, but did it anyway. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing I'd be able to feed my children. But even though I accepted it, I still hid it. I tried using it in stores where I knew no one. Kept my head down out of shame. Sad with the thought that my life had put me here, in my Uggs, getting free cereal and milk.

Fast forward a few months, and I now have a full-time job. No need for assistance anymore. I am a tax paying moneymaker, and used the funds when I needed them, just as people should. After this experience, there is one great thing I'm able to walk away with. The ability to not judge others.

A few years ago I would have been the first one to bitch and complain about 'that girl' in the checkout line.  But sometimes you just fall, and must ask for help. Taking care of my kids is my number one priority. I'm still learning that I need help to do that. My acceptance of help is a little bit slow to unfold, but I'm well on my way.

As much as I didn't want to share this part of my life with anyone, if I can make even one person aware and a little less quick to judge, I've done what I set out to do. :)