Monday, February 23, 2015

Things We Experienced that Our Kids Won't

The other day my husband and I started listing all the things we experienced that our kids won't. Even though there are so many different lists like this out there I wanted to create one for the girls with some of my personal memories of these things. So here's our lists.

The Land Line And Sneaking Around To Turn Off All The Ringers
     I didn't have a cell phone until I went to college and our friends and boyfriends always had to call the house. Of course we were not allowed phone calls after a certain time so I would go around before bed and turn off all the ringers upstairs so my then boyfriend at the time could call me later at night. Then of course I had to sneak back around the house to turn them all back on so I wouldn't be caught the next day. My kids won't ever know what land line even means considering we haven't had one in 10 years. Of course they won't be sneaking little pains like their mother.

Riding In The Bed Of A Pickup Truck Or Laying Down In The Back Of A Car On Long Roads
    One of my childhood memories was my sisters and I sprawling out in the back of our family station wagon on the long car rides from Kansas City to Buffalo. I also remember piling in the back of my uncle's pick up truck after softball practice at the end of the night. We use to all pile into the back of pickup trucks to get more to the bars with one DD too in college even though it may have started to be illegal then. We'd probably go to jail now if our kids rode in the back of the truck so this experience is probably out for them.

Browsing The Movie Store On Saturday Nights
   This is a great childhood memory of mine. On Saturday nights the five of us would head to the Cedar Chest, the town movie rental store, to browse the movies and rent some for family movie night. One of my early dating memories with Nate is also browsing the Blockbuster store for movie night. The girls we just know browsing Netflix, Vudo, and maybe they'd venture out of their house every now and then to rent a movie at the redbox.

VHS, CassesetteTapes, Walkmans
  They will never the bulkiness of old technology. The first non landline phones, car phones, were huge. Then there was VHS and tapes compared to the little tiny DVD player and DVD discs my girls have now.  As well as walkmans verse Ipods.  Imagine trying to hide that you were listening to that in class?

Having A Collection Of Encyclopedia
   Encyclopedias? They'll have no clue. The ancient version of Google. Okay, I don't really miss these.

Passing Notes In Class
  Somewhere I have a box of notes saved from my middle school and high school years of passing notes with some of my closest friends. I also got in trouble a few times for not only getting these notes confiscated but for what I wrote in them. I guess they don't have to worry about getting in trouble for that but now there's social media to worry about!

I'm sure there are so many other things that we experienced that they won't. Feel free to add to it. I'd love to share it with the girls someday.

Recent Posts

The Brain on Motherhood

Would I Be a Better Mother if I Stayed Home?

Do you have your copy of my book,  Moms, Monsters, Media & Margaritas ? It's only $8! Check it out if you haven't. You can also read the latest review on it, follow the ebook links,  and enter to win a free copy here.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Brain on Motherhood

My daughter got upset with me earlier because I told her after I cleaned up my room  I would help her clean up her room. I then of course got distracted with one of the other zillion things running through my brain so she then told me how I "promised" her and once again didn't keep my "promise".

At this point I'm staring her down with a dazed but crazed look in my eye. I proceed to explain to my six year old Mommy's brain on motherhood. It goes something like this.

You're cleaning up your room but before you finish you remember an order you need to cancel before the end of the night so you rush to the computer to put in the cancellation. Then on the way you discover the dog puked all over the floor. Then while you're trying to decide do I put in the cancellation before I forget or clean up the puke, the toddler starts having a meltdown because she wants a juice box. Like RIGHT NOW or all hell is going to break lose. Then the older one reminds you you're suppose to help her clean her room next. But then you remember I need to finish cleaning my room first. Dang, there's still a small pile of laundry that you see you forgot from putting away laundry before you started cleaning your room. Then seeing what looks like a piece of plastic laying on the floor in the dim light while trying to decide which frantic matter you should attend to first you bend over to pick up the plastic to only discover it's not plastic but the dog puke you need to clean up.

And that is what your brain is like on motherhood. The never ending task list on fast forward while you're in slow motion.

Recent Posts

Would I Be a Better Mom if I Stayed Home

Do you have your copy of my book,  Moms, Monsters, Media & Margaritas ? It's only $8! Check it out if you haven't. You can also read the latest review on it, follow the ebook links,  and enter to win a free copy here.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

I Just Mom Judged My Kids

As a mom of daughters I love to watch them play pretend. Like most little girls they love to pretend they're mommies. Most of the time those pretend mommy moments melt my heart like when they're holding and loving on their baby. However, today as I was cleaning up their playroom, which I referred to as their "house" I started thinking about several things I came across and had a little chuckle at myself when I thought "Oh, my gosh, I'm totally Mom Judging my daughters!" Here's my confession list of casting judgment on my poor three and six year old's mommy abilities.

1. Upon entering their "house": What a complete pigsty! How do they live in here?!? There is no organization whatsoever. I found old discarded food, wrappers, and eating utensils that would probably need at least a half dozen washes to get the crusty food off. They're like little hoarders. Nothing is trashed; it's all shoved under some furniture or in a box to give the appearance every now and then that they clean.

2. They neglect their "children". I don't think I found a single doll or Barbie with clothes on. Some of them (barbies) were even missing limbs for crying out loud! And then their hair! OMG! If they had hair it was a horrid, tangled mess. At least tie it back in a big ponytail.

3. Their "children" are dirty. Not only was their hair a horrid mess but some of them had crap smeared all over the faces like they hadn't had a good wash in ages. I know I'm one to talk considering we were the ones who took our three year old  out to dinner with chocolate still smeared across her face. Small parental miscommunication on who was cleaning her up before we left. At least I did the good old lunge across the table, lick my fingers, and scrub her face raw until it was all gone.

I guess they are only three and six. So they have plenty of time to figure it out.

Do you have your copy of my book,  Moms, Monsters, Media & Margaritas ? It's only $8! Check it out if you haven't. You can also read the latest review on it and enter to win a free copy here.
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This post is linked up over at Welcome to My Circus


Friday, February 13, 2015

Speaking Up for the Defiant Headstrong Child

We all think we want an easy child; we think how much easier our life will be with an easy child.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s our children’s job to challenge us. As nice as it is to have a submissive child, there’s something to be said for the one that’s not so easily swayed, who questions our authority every now and then, who’s not afraid to stand up for what she thinks is right (even if at three her rationalization isn’t really quite what is right).

I stress frequently as a teacher, parent, and writer about discipline and expectations, particularly with the child that's out of line all of the time, but like anything else in life there needs to be balanced. Someone who is always compliant is going to be taken advantage of because that's what people do to people that are uncertain about standing up for themselves. At the same time we don't want to be defiant all the time or you come off as an arrogant asshole. Hopefully whichever side of the spectrum our children start on hopefully they end up somewhere in the middle.

My first daughter is the people pleaser, teacher pet type. She responds well to redirection and for the most part does what she’s told. We do that one, two, three method. With her you just have to say one and she’s doing what she was told to do. My youngest though, she doesn't start to budge until you have the "th" of three coming out of your mouth. However, I'm kind of glad to see this headstrong, even occasional defiant attitude in her. I even glimpsed a little bit in my oldest the other day. Now don't get me wrong. I don't want to raise a defiant, rude child. But I do want to raise a child that's not afraid to stand her ground. I want to raise a child that's not easily manipulated by intimidation. I want to raise a child that even when she knows she may be wrong she doesn't fear speaking her mind because as soon as she lets fear keep her from speaking up she's let someone take something from her.

Maybe I sympathize with this child because I was that child. Sometimes they feel misunderstood because they feel others want them to be someone they’re not, the people pleaser, the goody two shoes, the teacher’s pet. I don’t really remember being this child when I was younger, but I remember being her in my adolescent years. I must have still been her as a child because my dad says I was the only one that would stand my ground against him; whereas, my sisters were more intimidated by a look or tone I tended to think I needed to hold my ground a little longer. Even though I have a short little rap sheet of childhood incidents overall I was a good kid. I was not a people pleaser or teacher's pet. Sure I had the teachers who favored me because they doted on my English papers in class or because I was an athlete or dated an athlete. I was the captain of the softball team, up for those royal court things, dated the football and basketball boys so obviously I was seen as an acceptable person. However, I was also the one who had her first visit to the principal’s office in the sixth grade because she got in a fight at the bus stop for standing up to the bully on the bus that thought it’d be fun to pick on the new kid to the neighborhood. She’s also the one who got herself and her boyfriend fired for getting in a verbal battle with her boss in college when he had the gall to them he “owned his employees”. Sure there were other moments I got in trouble where I wasn’t always in the right; I was a kid after all. I'm sure I deserved some of those detentions and groundings. It was my job to test the limits just like it’s my kids job to test the limits. That’s what I’m here for as their parent. The one that gives them a safe place to test those boundaries. Sometimes they are wrong, but sometimes as much as I hate to admit it they are the voice of the reason.

That’s the thing to remember; look at the bigger picture of who they are. Don’t just see them as the challenging or difficult child, especially in comparison to their siblings. This is hard. Believe me. I’m guilty of this even as I admire the stubborn streak in my youngest. Yes, this strong personality type can lead to a bit of trouble, but I've also seen it lead many that carry this gene to pushing to get the things they want in life. They don't let life and others push them down, they're not afraid to take risks, and that attitude has served them well to strive for the things they want.


Do you have your copy of my book,  Moms, Monsters, Media & Margaritas ? It's only $8! Check it out if you haven't. You can also read the latest review on it and enter to win a free copy here.

My earlier post The Devil is Not in Frozen

This post is linked up over at Welcome to My Circus



Frozen is not the Devil

I try to avoid the whole overly judgmental thing and to be all about to each their own but recently when I read a post that morealess stated that allowing Frozen into our homes and hearts of ourselves and children was letting in the devil, I gave up that agenda for the moment to write this post.

I have a serious problem when people start preaching damnation and devil worshipping on people that don't see their warped way of thinking. They are the reason I have a problem with religion. How many religions have killed in the name of God? So when religious people or groups start preaching how righteous they are and how damned the rest of us are, I really just want to scream hypocrite.

Evil exists everywhere. It is present in religion. It is in present in our politics. It is present in humanity. However, it can hide in every one of these, but it doesn't mean everyone is evil. For every corrupt supposed matra on a warpath in the name of God is someone who believes in the love that God should stand for, for every corrupt politician ruled by the evil of greed and power is one in the role to serve the people for the better good, for every human that has been consumed by the evil of darkness is someone who does good and models the vision of hope for humanity.

I'm not saying everything is evil, but so much is about perception. If you perceive to see the devil in Frozen and in all the different ways people live their lives compared to yours, then maybe that says something about you more so than the one you're judging. You don't like the movie, fine. You don't like the huge amount of fanfare around it, fine, but don't try to manipulate the rest of us to think we're exposing our children to the devil by allowing the movie into our homes and lives.

There is evil and there is good. There is darkness and there is hope. How you see each one is all about perception.

Oh, and I'm going after the Fifty Shades of Holier than Thou critics next too. Then I will step down on my ranting of judgmental people.

 Do you have your copy of my book,  Moms, Monsters, Media & Margaritas ? It's only $8! Check it out if you haven't. You can also read the latest review on it and enter to win a free copy here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"We are Never so Lost God Can't Find Us"

It's been over two weeks since realizing our dreams of a bigger family were once again not going to become a reality. At least not yet. It's been an interesting two weeks with lots of thinking, reflecting, deep conversations, and searching. Maybe in this post I can help explain how the three posts Accepting What Isn't Meant to BeDo the Dead Visits Us in Our Dreams , and Lessons I've Learned in My Pursuit of Happiness  are all in many ways connected to one another. I know from talking to other moms and reading others' posts I am not the only mom that has experienced this sense of getting lost on this journey of motherhood so some of you I think will understand a little better than others. So here goes...

I've mentioned multiple times that I was depressed about two years ago now. In fact this spring marks two years ago that I would say it all peaked. They say you have to hit some sort of bottom in order to get back up. You have to realize I will acknowledge now that I was in some sort of internal battle then but at the time I fought those that suggested maybe I needed to seek some kind of help. My mother suggested talking to my doctor. I shut her down. My sister suggested I get on anti depressants. I detested the idea of having to be medicated to control my feelings and behavior. I didn't believe in that stuff. My husband suggested I talk to the employee counseling group he found flyers for at work. Told him if he didn't do so many things to piss me off I wouldn't seem so angry and upset all the time. If there is anybody that can see the difference in then and now, it is definitely him. Marriage is through the highs and lows, right?  He saw me at my lowest. I met him at his lowest. We have had our highs and lows, and God knows we don't always see eye to eye, but we do pull each other up even if we fight the other the whole way (a common problem when you're both too damn stubborn).

I've gone into different details at different times but what I want to focus on now is the irrational fear I think this moment in my life created, which in turn lead to parts of what the three recent posts were talking about. Somewhere with the stress of work, two little kids, marriage, and home ownership I lost myself. I have always been the one no one worries about, the one that others say, "oh it's Ang, she's got this," the one that's known to be super self sufficient, in control, and stubbornly independent. I am the adult version of that three year old of mine that stares me down and tells me, "NO! I can do it myself!"

But when we were struggling with money when we made the move to the new house, when I was fighting with my husband on a way too often basis and even erupting into those epic battles we swore we wouldn't have in front of our kids, when I couldn't stand the pressure and stress of my job anymore, and when I felt so tired and worn down I had no energy for my kids and that wonderful mommy guilt of feeling like a terrible mother ate away at me, all I could see was all the ways I was failing. I was doing everything for everybody and none of it felt like enough. It was the most lost feeling I'd ever felt in my life. And I hated myself for it. I am a control freak and everything had just spun completely out of my control.

But even as I lost sight of myself, I didn't lose my faith. If anything the climb up strengthened my faith. Even though we had always planned for a third baby and had always dreamed of a big family, that experience from those few years after the birth of my second until about a year ago had created this fear that with the birth of another baby it would lead to it all spinning out of control again. I had just started to feel like myself again. I was feeling confident again. Even as we started planning for the third I had this fear that I wouldn't be able to balance it all again-a baby, two older girls, work, marriage, the house.  I was scared of that losing control again feeling, I got anxiety just thinking about that feeling of defeat and failure overcoming me like a dark cloud again.

Before we started trying to get pregnant last summer, I started noticing this feeling screaming at me. Intuition, I kept saying. I think part of it really was intuition but I'm thinking now part of it was that sense of fear too. I knew with each failed pregnancy that it was going to end before I ever saw the signs that it was ending so I think intuition was a part of it that feeling I was experiencing. I knew with the first pregnancy right away. I miscarried that one right before six weeks. With the second my intuition didn't start screaming at me until about five days before. After that second miscarriage I was even more hung up on that intuitive feeling I couldn't shake. I've even told others I think it's telling me there's only suppose to be two children; we're not meant to have three. It's not meant to be; we shouldn't even try anymore for a third.

I'm an overthinker and overanalyzer.  Why do I feel that baby #3 is not meant to be? Or was it just intuition that those pregnancies weren't the one. After much agonizing I confided in Nate about this strange feeling I've had. I dragged my feet on it because one I thought he'd think I was crazy or two, if he believed we should listen to my supposed intuition then he'd be sad to hear that there may not be any more children. We've both always wanted a big family. I say three, he says three or four!. The more I pondered this the more I wondered was my irrational fear of failure or struggle part of what I was misinterpreting as intuition.

Then I had the dream. The dream was again focused on this internal battle I had about whether I was experiencing anxiety and fear towards the change that would come with expanding our family or if there was some level of truth to this intuitive feeling that kept telling there was only suppose to be two children. At first I took it to mean I should trust my intuition, that we shouldn't and there wouldn't be anymore kids. Then I started to see that it was all about control.

I am a controller, and the message started to become more and more clear that me, the controller, the one that thinks she has to do everything herself, needed to part with that sense of needing to control everything.  I cannot control everything.

As I went for a walk recently, as I was still struggling to figure out what it all meant,  I said, "Please just give me some sort of sign. Something that tells me if this nagging feeling about a third kid is intuition or just fear". I didn't want fear to be why we didn't pursue our hope of a large family, I didn't want this fear to make me a crazed worry parent about my children's well being, I didn't want my fear of failure to be what held me at this strange standstill always lost in this confusion of intuition and self doubt. Even though I have always believed in God, have never doubted his presence in my life, and have had many "signs" nothing was so clearly answered to me the way I was this past weekend.

A few hours later as I was browing facebook, waiting on Nate so we could leave, one of those inspiration images passed in my newsfeed. It had the image of a stork carrying a baby and here's what it said, "Let your faith be bigger than your fears." I froze it on my screen and showed it to Nate because him and I were just talking about whether my nagging feeling was just irrational fear or an intuitive sign that we should listen to.  I'm glad now I showed him because even though I remember the image of the stork was from an organization called Save the Storks (a pro life movement), I scrolled the internet multiple times later looking for that image from this organization with that quote on it, and I can't find it anywhere. I can find the quote and I can find the Save the Storks site with other images but there is nothing with the two of them combined. This graphic message that jumped out at me, speaking straight to my concern of my fears in regards to a third baby, is nowhere to be found in the massive world of cyber space. It's like it was never there; like I never saw it. But I did see it and so did Nate so I'm not crazy.

And just like that all my worry, anxiety, confusion, frustration, all the emotions I've felt in regards to experiencing the two miscarriages, and the doubt in expanding our family was gone. If and when we're ready it will happen.  I need to trust my faith that it will all be okay, it will all work out in the time it should, and I need to  push aside my fears. So even in the moments where we feel lost or have even lost a sense of ourselves I guess the biggest message I got was we're never so lost that God won't find us and guide us back. Sometimes it's two weeks; sometimes it's two years; and I know from others' experiences it's even longer.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Blogger or not a Blogger?

February is the longest month to me; it always has been. The cabin fever just consumes me. I'm tired of everything in the house-cleaning, writing, reading, watching TV, laundry, designing photobooks, even playing on facebook. I need outside. I feel like a caged animal.  So what does a blogger do to entertain herself during a moment of boredom. You organize your blog posts by page views of course. I love a little organization and who doesn't love an ego boost every now and then.

I'm a tiny blog with a tiny following but it's still exciting to see what posts get a couple hundred views and to have that first post reach almost 500 views. I had this blog for about a year before I made it a "public" blog in which I shared, even promoted, my posts. Even though following numbers say I have over 500 followers between twitter, google +, facebook, GFC, and bloglovin I really probably only have about 100-200 that actually read me on a somewhat regular enough basis.

I know there are lots of things I should learn and do to be a "real" blogger but this is my hobby. I'm selfish. I do this for me, and I don't want to stress about all these things I should do to be more "successful" with blogging.  Even though I only have a small following I love the connections I have made with moms off all ages, backgrounds, and choices. So even though my stats are low and my income from this has pretty much matched my low stat numbers who cares. Once again, life isn't measured in numbers. Just like it's not measured by the numbers on a scale or money you make, I don't think my perception of myself as a blogger should be measured by numbers either but more by the connections and personal growth I've gotten from the last two years of doing this.

More than half of the time I'm just rambling on here. I'm rambled in journal books for years, since I was ten to be exact. If you ever read those journals you'd see it's pretty much the same as on here. Sometimes it's just about reflecting on life, sometimes it's sorting out problems, sometimes it's using comic relief and sarcasm to deal with stress, and sometimes it's sentimental posts about life, faith, and love.

I was scared to share my writing for a long time. It's kind of scarey to expose your inner most feelings and thoughts. Writing like this breaks down walls that we're all known to build around ourselves. This scares some people away. I'll be honest. There are a few, I emphasize few, people that I feel I've pushed away by coming out with my writing, but the connections I've made with others have been totally worth it. Sometimes something I write voices their own fears, voices their own struggles, makes them feel that they're not alone, or brings comic relief to those moments we all struggle with overcoming.

I battle back and forth on whether I should make goals when it comes to this whole blogging/writing thing.  I have a book to market so I really should work on networking more towards a goal of a 1000 followers. I was closing in on 5000 page views a month over the summer but then you know life gets busy and my monthly page views dropped below a 1000! Whoops. I know this is being a "bad" blogger. Inconsistency doesn't keep readers. Sorry for the inconsistency, readers.

If you're one of the ones that have followed for awhile here are the heavy hitters as I'm calling them that must have connected with people in some way First up are the top 8 posts that have anywhere from 200 views up to almost 500 (not quite there yet).

Moms, Get Ready to Be Judged

Walking in the Working Mom's Shoes

What Defines the Magic of Childhood

You Can't Score if You Never Swing 

You Walk that Way, Superwoman, I'll Walk this Way

The Damn Elf on the Shelf May be the Last Straw 

Book Release of Moms, Monsters, Media & Margaritas

The Working Vs the Stay at Home Mom Debate

Here are some middle hitters. They've seen over 100 views but have not quite made it to 200 yet.

The Value of Self Awareness 

The Top 10 Mom Skills I've Mastered 

Happily Ever After..But a Moment 

Where's the Beauty in Perfection

Time is What Makes Great Parents 

The Sex After Kids Club  

Marriage and Money 

There's another half dozen that fit in this 100-350 views category that are personal journal posts that I wrote that I didn't include in this list. I guess for now I'll just keep doing going with whatever feels right at the time, and hopefully you'll stick around to read some more.

I also need some book sales for the 2015 year. Do you have your copy of Moms, Monsters, Media & Margaritas ? It's only $8! Check it out if you haven't.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Do the Dead Visit us in Our Dreams?

Are you a believer? Do you believe in Heaven? In God? In Angels? In our deceased loved ones coming back to visit us? To reassure us? To warn us?

For those of you that said yes please keep reading. If you're not sure but really want to believe read to see what you think. If you don't believe, then this is a good place to stop and we'll see you back for the following post next time.

After my second visitation dream in fourteen years (that's what they call it in all the recent stuff I've read on this topic) this past weekend, I started doing a lot of reading and talking with others about this topic. Now I'm quite fascinated. Part of my fascination isn't so much that I had a rare visit (as many feel these visits are rare) from my deceased grandfather but because of the unsettled, torn emotions I feel in regards to the message he brought. As I've told some I'm not even sure of the interpretation of the message, but I think my uncertainty is due more to the fact that I don't like the message. It wasn't what I wanted to hear.

Everything I have read all agree that they come to reassure or warn you. The first visitation dream I ever experienced was in college and it was definitely a message of reassurance. I remember that one leaving me feeling better and at peace, but this one unfortunately, has not left me with those feelings.

Two others' experiences of those I know involved a reassurance visit after she went through a dramatic life change, and the other's experience came with a warning of something to happen in the next few years to come. Even though the interpretation as to who exactly it pertained to was misinterpreted, the warning ended up being dead on (pardon the pun).

I find it a very interesting topic. I would love to hear others' experiences.

Recent Posts:

A Mother's Wish: I Hope you Always Dance

Avoiding the Dark Hole of Depression

To Be a Teacher or Not to Be

Have you got your copy of my book,  Moms, Monsters, Media & Margaritas. It's also available in print and ebook on Amazon with a couple reviews as well.