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Saturday, January 31, 2009

knobby knobs

i put my two year old's hair up in two knobby knobs... you know, the almost-pony-tails that you just leave as knobs. for some reason it melts my heart. she has an extremely round face, these harsh dark bangs, and adding these knobby knobs, well... softens her appearance. and personality. my two year old acts like she's two. so currently we're add odds 100% of the time. these two little knobby knobs remind me that she's still my little baby and not full of meanness even though it's what she exudes 100% of the time. she can't help that she's 2! right?

thank you knobby knobs.
you gave me the ability to remember her innocent cuteness.

Friday, January 30, 2009

snow day.

ok, so i'm not a stay at home mom. sometimes i wish i could, but i would be lying if i told you i only did it on the days were there was lots of dishes and laundry to be had. conveniently i get that feeling when there is a snow day. when i am THE only one that has to drag her sorry butt out of the warm and snuggly bed across the freezing cold tundra of my bedroom to the shower.


so we had our first snow day of the year this week. ok, so i know it was ridiculous given the fact that there was less than 2 inches of snow on the ground and i've had the opportunity in the past to live in connecticut where even with 36 inches of snow on the ground YOU GO TO SCHOOL. buses put chains on their wheels, and, well... case closed. (and yes little Sascha Obama, you were right... in CT not only would we have gone to school, we would've had recess in this weather, too!)

as a kid i loved snow days. NO SCHOOL! sleeping in, snacking all day long, tv on 24-7... and if i really wanted to take advantage of the day i didn't even have to brush my teeth if i didn't want to. but never, never EVER did i appreciate snow days for what they were. days to play in the snow.

in college i took a snowboarding class and really REALLY fell in love with the sport. but as some of you may recall, i got pregnant while finishing college and, well, never got the chance to really get into snow sports.

{and that's ok because this isn't about self-pity}

do you remember getting dressed in all sorts of layers with mittens on strings and itchy wooly hats? you know you do... because CERTAINLY i wasn't the only one with a mother concerned about me freezing but never really thinking about my level of comfort.

{but as a woman, i should be used to this concept, right?

i mean, two words for you... high heels.}

i really don't remember enjoying the snow that much, but my memories are going to be different from my mom's, i'm sure of it. now...all these years later...i was excited. i had three kids to get bundled up in long johns, snow pants, mittens on strings, and itchy wooly hats. only, the long johns were tights, the snow pants were still snow pants, the mittens on strings were mittens NOT on strings {oh how i wished they were on strings}, and the itchy wooly hats were now made of fleece. {why didn't they have fleece in the 70's?} but i wasn't the least bit discouraged and thankfully {which this is the only time i can say this} at least one of them was in diapers, meaning, that was one less i was going to have to frantically strip out of 5 layers of clothing for a last minute potty decision.

all of this for... say it with me...

less than 2 inches of snow.

maybe the snow day wasn't really about the snow, as much as it was the opportunity to relive my youth through my kids. and maybe, probably maybe, it was the mental relief i needed from the past two weeks of professional anguish i was going through away from home. but i needed it. and not that i even got to participate in all of the day's activities, but i did get to use my lunch hour that day watching my kids have the time of their lives.

this particular snow day was monumental for one main reason... it snapped me back out of the stress that exists as work. did you know my kids think i'm funny? did you know i now reMEMber my kids think i'm funny? i had forgotten how theraputic laughter really is. i'm not saying my kids didn't stress me out this week, but i was better equipped to handle it all because i had the joy and gift of laughter back in my life...

all thanks to my children.
and a snow day.

my chillens and the neighbor's chillens.

favorite picture of the day.




i fall in love with them all over sometimes.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

it does not define me

"Being happy right now doesn't mean everything is perfect.
It means you choose to look beyond the imperfections."

I posted that quote on my facebook page. Yes, I have a facebook page. Yes, I love my facebook page. Yes, I'm addicted to my facebook page.

Someone asked me how it was humanly possible to look beyond imperfections.

I can't say I don't see my own imperfections or anyone else's for that matter. I can say, however, that I don't let those imperfections define me. THAT is how I can be happy. Once you let those imperfections define you, you have lost the battle of happiness.

I am not perfect. I am not a knowlegable genious. I am not the strongest person alive. I am not completely unselfish. I am not, not, not perfect.

Nobody is perfect.
{even though people think they are, it's just not possible}

I've had such a difficult week this week. Thankfully it has nothing to do with my awesome little family. I've had to deal with significant personnel issues at work this week, but that's not really here nor there. Well, actually it kind of is. You see, some of these issues would never have happened if people chose to live by the aforementioned quote in this post. When you choose to focus on the little imperfections, they tend to become big imperfections and that then changes your perception of reality. Which can be dangerous. And time-wasting. And lead to needless, and seemingly endless hostility and dramatics.

But even understanding and living by the aforementioned quote in this post does not make you perfect. Understanding the meaning and intent of that quote does NOT mean you are perfect. But if you live by it, you try to live a more perfect life, and isn't that what it's about? I'm good with life not being perfect. I mean, look at last year... I've learned to live with an imperfect life, but it doesn't define us. How we rebound and move forward will define our history. My little family's history. And I owe my children the best history they can tell their own children about one day.

This post makes me sad because I am reliving a lot of this past work week. It was tough. It was sad. It was sad. And I can't believe the way things all unfolded. But I have done the best to deal with it in a professional manner, which unfortunately was viewed as an ice-cold manner, but you know what? It was a lose-lose situation. No matter what, I was going to be the scapegoat. And no matter what, I was going to be served a nice heaping serving of attitude. So I did it in the most non-confrontational way I could. Because this doesn't define me. In my career this will not define me. And in my history, I will remember how I handled things and be proud of such. Because this will be one of those imperfections that I look beyond so I can be happy. I want to be happy. Some people think they want to be happy, but then... does that get you attention? I don't want attention. {anyone remember why I did NOT have a wedding?!}

I just want happiness.

Monday, January 19, 2009

personal responsibility.

how do you teach grown adults the art of

{i say "art" because once you become an adult and you have to learn certain things, it has to be called an "art" because it's not inherent in nature to you.}

i do my best, as a mom, to teach my kids that, when they choose to do something where they don't like the results, that they cannot blame their mother {little old me} for letting them do it in the first place. when they yell at me because they just got in trouble and are sentenced to time-out, who is it that is REALLY at fault? who's fault is it that they are in time-out?

being a parent is tricky. it is so tricky. you have to be consistent and you have to be smart. it's tough to know if you're doing the right thing because so often we have to do things in the blink of an eye. but i know i'm doing the best i can, regardless of whether or not it breaks my heart to see my child sob his sobs. i'd be doing him an injustice by switching up my decision because he's on my lap sobbing, apologizing, and degrading himself. and that's tricky. because it hurts. and not that i like rubbing things in his face, or the all the "i told you so's" i hear racking through my brain, but it is important to teach them personal responsibility.

i'm doing the right thing. and you know how i know this? because i don't enjoy dealing with grown adults that have no sense of personal responsibility. you can spoil kids in more ways than materialistic means. i know this because i deal with grown adults that have no sense of personal responsibility. no real moral compass. just a sense of entitlement.

i wanted to be a mom as far back as i can remember. i wanted to have cute little babies i could dress up and show off. i wanted to do the mommy-and-me classes. i wanted to see my children graduate college. my lord, i wanted grandbabies. and in all of that thinking {all of those awesome and grown-up thoughts} never did i take a moment and think, "gee, this is going to be complicated. because to get my children to graduate college they have to not only graduate high school and take S.A.T.s, but they have to be accepted to colleges. they have to be responsible enough to not just want to go to college, but walk the walk that will get them to college, which can very well back-up all the way to their infancy when i had to decide whether or not to let them "cry it out" in the middle of the night."


see? it's tricky. so, so tricky.

you really think you know it all when you're young. you really think you can handle everything life throws at you. and we do. i know we all do in some form or fashion. but can't we always be a little more prepared for things in life, sometimes? why wouldn't i have given honest thought to what kind of a child i want to raise? these snap decision kind of deals would've been great to have thought about before having kids. baby rearing is serious business. it is. but i can't really think about the shoulda's because, really, what's the point? i have to know that i will continue to do what i think is important to help raise wonderfully well-rounded peas. three of them. and personal responsibility is definitely part of that.

for example...

many of you know that my five-year old requested i cut her some bangs. now, i have never been a fan of bangs much, but she was five. and since i can remember being five and also remember how i wasn't allowed to make decisions, i figured i should allow emma this one. {because as you know, if she wanted bangs, she was probably going to go about her methods of obtaining them, aka this, and this, and this.} she knew i didn't want to cut her hair. and she honestly thought she knew better {and who knows, in the future, she really could know better than me, i will fully admit to that now}. until the hair fell to the floor. and then she looked in the mirror. and then she asked me to pull them all the way back. and then off. she wanted me to cut them off. i never EVER said "i told you so" but through her tears she was able to mutter "you were right, mom." {check one for mom} she knew it was her own decision to have bangs. she didn't yell at me or cry for long. but it is now her own decision to grow them back out. *pride*tears*

personal responsibility. i'm kind of a fan.

{wasn't there a book about all a person needs to know in life they learned in kindergarten? i bet it included personal responsibility.}

Saturday, January 17, 2009


it is cold this morning
i sit here typing and i can feel my pointer finger start to get numb.
we have a doggy door.
the doggy door is to my back.
in front of my back is my pointer finger.
it is so stinking cold.

i know some areas of the country are well below zero degrees. where we live in virginia it is currently resting at zero. zero is pretty darn cold. especially when you have a doggy door.

but if i didn't have a doggy door, how would my dog have free reign of his world?

so i have cold toes, a cold nose, and numb fingers.
but at least the dog feels free.

wait a minute. i also have a high electric bill.
hmmmm, rethinking doggy freedom...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

sometimes it's right under your nose

we had overly warm weather over the christmas holiday. completely 100% unseasonably warm weather. we had several no-coat days.

did you know that sometimes if you stop and just focus on the here and now that you might be rewarded with a vision of what true beauty really is?

recently on a no-coat day my girls were out in the front ditch. the wet and leafy front ditch. the wet and leafy front ditch that would make them dirty.

does it look like they care if they got dirty?

did you know dirt was harmless? did you know it could also provide for

these pictures of my girls make me happy. living in that moment and being able to think back so fondly of this exact moment makes me happy.

i am lucky.
i lived in this moment.
i felt this moment.
and then i did laundry.

potty pricelessness

i've birthed three children, two of which have already gone through potty training. the last of this adorable brood has yet to decide she is ready for big girl-dom. you see...she thinks she's a princess. she also thinks she's a baby. i guess that's what happens when her mommy continually picks her up, squeezes her cheeks, and with all sorts of sweet and sugary tones calls her my "babee, babee, babeeeeeeee!" so part of the problem with her is me. i know that. i'm saying it out loud.

i baby my baby.

{Note: you never fully understand what it's like to have your LAST child until you do it. then you know why the baby of the family is always "the baby"}

my baby is 2 1/2. well, 2 years and 8 1/2 months, so what's that, 2 3/4 yrs? regardless, i think it's too old for her to be peeing in the diaper. she knows when she has to go. she hates her wet diaper. she used to go all day long on the potty for the babysitter. for G's sake she even sits on the potty up until the very second she feels that wave of "oh my, here it comes" {followed by a scream, cry, clench, and jump off the potty}. the girl knows how to use the potty.

in a desperate clench of hope i purchased a beautiful pink potty for her. PINK. like pink as in, PRINCESS pink. the first 2 hours she was on and off that thing constantly. she was in l-o-v-e with her pink potty. i gave her big props for getting on and off of it frequently for the first 3 days. and then... well... it just got to be ridiculous. she would get OFF the potty to pee in her diaper. isn't this reversed training? {i once had a ridiculously not-so-smart beagle puppy who would tell me she had to go outside to pee, would go outside to pee, would stay outside to pee, would never pee, would go inside to pee} enough was enough! if she loved this potty so much CERTAINLY she would hate for me to give it away to someone else who would take it more seriously and treat the potty like it wanted to be treated. {with urine.}

i got to the point where i told her i was going to give it to the neighbor's son. yes, a BOY. wouldn't that SHOCK her? well, truth be told, it did. the first time. she got right back on the potty and pushed as hard as she could, but nothing. i still gave her big kudos for trying her best because she understood the threat.

the next day my 2 3/4 year old little girl got a little smarter. seriously, the very next day. not only was she not intimidated by my threat, she actually told me to "go ahead and give it to him because he probably would really like it. because it was pink." how did she knooooow? {fist striking the air!} how on earth did she learn my tricks? she knew i, too, was in love with this pink potty. you know, what, with me constantly going by the bathroom saying...

"Wow, that pink potty is HOT!
It looks so good when you sit on it.
And it matches our bathroom!
It is the best looking potty on the PLANET!

she knew i loved that potty {and truthfully, it did look good in the girly bathroom} and she used that against me. she worked me over. right. in front. of my. eyes.

the moral of this story? two year olds are brilliant and will make you look like a fool when given the opportunity. or, they are totally sponges at this stage and not only learn simple things like colors or shapes, but they also are REALLY good at picking up the tricks of the trade when it comes to manipulation. it's an art. consider my 2 year old Picasso. the Picasso of manipulation.

{because i'll be the first to admit ... she's still in a diaper}

Monday, January 12, 2009

have you ever thought about what it means to be happy? what it would take to really make you happy? truly, unadulteratedly, unabashedly, blissfully, intoxicatingly happy? does it seem intangible? overwhelming? unrealistic?

sometimes it just is so intimidating to think about what it would take to make you happy. but with all things, isn't it easier to think about it all in b a b y s t e p s?

my children make me happy.
happy children make me even happier.
is this why some people revolve their lives completely around their children?

the holidays have wore. me. out. i am one tired lady. {although, i can't call myself "lady" in front of my kids because it makes them sad to think of me as "old" -- and then it leads into a conversation about what happens when we die -- which leads to tears -- and then that doesn't really make me happy.} it goes to show you what the pre-holiday feeling of joy does to me. it gives me energy. it gives me pep.

i'm currently pepless.

i try to do a lot for others because it honestly makes me happy to do so. i like making other people's lives easier. really. i do. it's one of those selfish qualities that my husband is kind of automatically involved with since he is my husband, naturally. i'm not patting my back here. i'm really venting. because i'm tired. never in a million years would i change the way i operate my life. i really do this because of how it makes me feel. and then afterwards i crash. and sometimes to the detriment of my own little immediate family life. but at the same time, they all got something out of it too {like more time with their cousins, or a chance to stay up late with a house full of aunts, uncles, grandparents, or life lessons in general}.

i'm happy.

tired happy.

but happy.

so after writing this entry i've realized what it is that i'm truly after right now to reach that high level of true, unadulterated, unabashed, blissful, and intoxicating happiness.


Friday, January 9, 2009

new year, new projects

so i've got a project i'm gearing up to complete. i'll post pictures of that soon enough. in the meantime i just found my next one... if only i had all of my days to sit and live out all of my wildest project fantasies... i'd be one happy momma.

oo. oo. here's another... and if anyone ever wants to know what they can give me as a gift... it's time. that's it. i try not to ask for much. ;)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008. 2009.

and i say GOOD RIDDINS to 2008 as I wholeheartedly welcome 2009.
since i've been a grown-up i've never had a year that has brought such a huge amount of tears as 2008 did. i won't say they were all negative. {i did welcome two beautiful nieces this year, afterall, not to mention me falling in love all over again with my beau}... but the heartache and pain of a spouse losing his job during a falling economy at Christmas time is enough to make you cry yourself to sleep for weeks on end.
i am lucky to have a family that i not only love, but i LIKE. when you like people, you tend to talk to them more often and they have the ability to support you and provide that support on a more frequent basis. frequency. that is a huge part of keeping the up with the momentum of positive thinking and living. and for frequency, i am blessed.

i had a lot to learn this year, and most of it faced me head-on in just these last few months of the year. i had to learn patience. i had to learn i can't control everything in life. i had to learn how to turn lemons into lemonade. i had to learn how to slow down so i can smell the roses, versus seeing them out of my peripheral. those are lots of lessons to learn and live, but i'm proud to say, i've done it better than i thought i was capable of doing.

but as much as i've had one heckuva year, i know there are so many others out there that have had it much worse than me and my little family of 5. nienie, my sister-in-law's family... i could really go on and on. but i have begun learning from stories like nie's or the Masoudis' -- learning how to be a better mother to my children because some things are just so trivial when compared to things that CAN happen. because, lest we forget, we are not in control of this life. there is some awesome big guy upstairs that has a plan for each of us and even though i may think i am in control of this life, i am far, far from it. nie has taught me how cherish my children for what they are. children. they are children. they are not small adults... just children. glorious, beautiful, wondrous, proFOUND children. finding her blog was purely accidental on my part but it was completely intentional on the part of God. wow. would you look at that? some amazing woman in mesa that i have never met, seen, or heard of, literally lands right under my nose and on my laptop one day. and since that day, i have developed an understanding of what kind of a mother i want to be. one a lot like nie.

this year was the year i turned that dreadful 30 years of age. this year was the year my two year old decided she was going to be the girliest girly-girl on the face of this planet. this year was the year my son left me with the lasting "vegetarian" memory {he witnessed me and his father arguing about something and became very concerned... to the point of tears. we explained that sometimes people have different opinions and points of view about things... his response? " being a vegetarrrrrrrriannnnnnnn."} .... and my five year old, well, wow. what can i say other than... she has proved herself as mommy's biggest helper, and one that doesn't complain when doing so. i can't even put a price on that.

i am so thankful for my three little peas that have the knack for making me laugh unexpectedly and unintentionally when i'm on the verge of tears. as painfully tiring as this job may be, the fruits of my labor(s) continue to prove their worth in silver, gold, and some diamonds, too.

my point in relaying some of the highlights of 2008 were so i can put the lowlights behind me. the low were low and in 2009 all i can hope for are better lowlights, more highlights, and better lives for people like the Nielsons and Masoudis who desperately deserve so.

and i have a promise for my little family of 5 for this new year... i promise to enjoy you. top to bottom. inside and out. you will be my lemonade, my roses, and forever my purpose.

POST EDIT: 7 NOV 09...

What a difference a year makes.  If only I had known.... 2009 blew 2008 out of the water, as far as bad years go.  You just never know and you should never speak too soon.  I will take this great wealth of knowledge from first hand experience into 2010 with me and can only HOPE I don't get too cocky with my "worst year ever" comments.  Focus on the positives.  Eliminate the negatives.  Latch onto the affirmatives, don't mess with Mr. In-Between.