Saturday, December 31, 2011

One Year Ago Today This Blog was Born

I can't believe that one year ago I started this blog.  How is it that days last forever but years fly by?  I can't believe that I have kept it up.  It started with a resolve to keep organized and I can guarantee that did not happen, but I am mindful of the clutter.  I am mindful that it is still there and drives me crazy on a regular basis. 

I have noticed a theme to my blog that is also a theme to my life.  My family is my rock.  They have made me who I am today and there are no other people with whom I would rather spend time.  Nobody can push my buttons like them, and nobody can make me happier. 

I have also learned that I am responsible for my own happiness.  It is my responsibility to take care of myself first so I can take care of others.  They don't tell you to put on your own mask before helping others for nothing.   I have taken time for and care of myself and it has made a huge difference in my outlook on life!

40 turned out to be a pretty good year.  Here is hoping for a great 41!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

And Dave Wonders Why I Feel Like Screaming All the Time

Conversation I just had with Ryan.

Ryan:  What are we having for dinner?

Me:  Baked chicken and brocolli.

Ryan:  I don't like that.  Can I have something else?

Me:  No.  I am your mother, not a short order cook.  You eat what I make or you can make something on your own. 

Ryan:  Fine.  Can I have the leftovers from Appleby's?

Me:  What is in there? 

Ryan:  Chicken tenders.

Me:  Isn't that the same thing that I am making?

Ryan:  Yes, but theirs are much more better. 

I had to walk away. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

I'll Scratch Your Back if You Scratch Mine....

Last summer when we went to Disney, Ryan desperately wanted this back scratcher.   In my effort to keep at least some of my money in my bank account I refused him and assumed that he would quickly forget all about it like he forgot about everything else he asked for.  Besides, it doesn't really scratch your back, more like rubs it because his "fingers" are really smooth.  This was lost on a child who turned five that week. 

Oh how wrong I was.  Sometimes being practical is not helpful.  Every night when he goes to bed he gets back out saying, "My back is itchy.  If you had gotten me that back scratcher from Disney that I wanted then I could scratch it myself, but now I guess Daddy will have to do it. "

Aunt Julie went to Disney over Thanksgiving, so in an effort to kill two birds with one stone, that being a stocking stuffer and to keep him in bed, I asked her if she would pick it up while she was down there. 

Tonight he tried to scratch his own back but he could not reach the bottom with his new tool.  He got back out of bed and said,  "Maybe Daddy can help me with this."

I wasn't really surprised.  Exasperated, but not surprised.  Thank you Aunt Julie!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

An Embarassment of Riches

So here we are halfway through Christmas.  The carefully selected gifts have been opened both here and at Aunt Julie's house, and we are waiting to go to Aunt Ann's later today.  The kids will tell you that they have a ton of new toys and I got a Kindle Fire.  Did you know that I read about a book a week?  Right now I am reading "The Hunger Games" series.  That could account for my lack of posting lately,  but that is not why I am rich. 

I got to spend yesterday with Dave's family.  Once again, Julie made an incredible meal and we had a great time watching the kids open their gifts.  My Mother-In-Law brings each of them a 2'x4' sack packed with gifts for each kid.  They all got great gifts that were just what they wanted.  If they got nothing else they would have been spoiled. 

Today we are going to my sister Ann's house for dinner and more gift opening.  It will be pandemonium as all 20 of us celebrate Christmas.  I love when everyone is together.  To me, the crazier the better, as long as all of the kids are getting along.  With 10 kids things can get kind of hairy, but more times than not it is smooth sailing. 

I am rich in family.  I have 24 people that I love with all my heart.  We all get along and enjoy spending time together.  I have managed to live in the moment and not get bogged down in the preparations.  I have exercised great patience with the kids and have been rewarded with great memories of teaching Ryan how to scoop the cookie dough onto the trays.  He was so proud.   I taught Colin how to wrap gifts.  They aren't perfect, but they are more than good enough, and now I can pass that job on to him in the coming years.  He also sent out our Christmas Cards.  He got to 10 of them, but that is 10 more than I would have gotten around to.  I will try to do better next year, but most of the people I would have sent them to read this blog, so there is really nothing to put in a newsletter that hasn't been covered.  So now I wish all my readers a Merry Christmas.  I am off to make the veggie platter that I need to take to Ann's. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

A New Day has Dawned

The sun came back up and since I actually got to bask in its glory, I am back on top.  It is amazing what some sunshine can do to make a person happy.  Colin is well enough to go back to school and has caught up in some of his subjects.  I am more than halfway done with my Christmas shopping which is really good for me this early in the game.  All in all, I am in a much better frame of mind. 

Tomorrow I am getting my hair done and finishing my shopping.  If I still have any energy I will make some cookies.  That is actually one of my favorite things to do and I have a new baking stone that I am looking forward to busting out.  It is the stone that makes all the difference!

Here is to more sunny days and feeling good!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Moment of Self Indulgence

Okay, this is fair warning.  I am about to indulge in a pity party.  If you do not want to read my whining, you are free to stop now.  Please don't say I didn't warn you if you proceed to the end of this post. 

Winter has been holding off for a few extra weeks, and for that I am thankful.  However, the gloom that hangs over Northeastern Ohio has set in, and I am guessing it will hold tight for the next four or five months.  Add to that Colin being sick for the last three weeks, and I have been sent into a downward spiral.  I know he has not been feeling well.  Just looking at him will tell you that he was not faking it.  I feel horrible that he had to suffer through mono, which having had it twice myself, I realize how bad he felt.  I have been staying home with him which has not let me go to the gym except for Zumba on Sunday nights.  On a side note, I defy anyone to take a Zumba class and not be in a good mood when they are done.  It is just not possible.  I hate to say this out loud, but not exercising is making a huge difference in my mood. 

I also went back to the voodoo holistic chiropractor hoping he would be able to tell me what was causing my stomach pain.  I have struggled through not eating dairy, wheat, tomatoes, peppers, etc. for the last three weeks hoping that he would redo the test and I could add either the dairy or the wheat back in.  He told me that I am still sensitive to both and it would take about one month for every year my stomach has been bothering me to heal enough for me to add that back in.  In reality, that would take about 16 months.  On my way home from the appointment I decided to say to hell with the whole thing and I stopped at Danny Boys which is my favorite restaurant and got the most delicious bread sticks ever made.  I ate four of them which is equivalent to about a loaf of bread, then we had pizza for dinner.  Today I had a Coke, and while all of it was delicious, my stomach is now killing me. 

Ryan is not getting the concept of the naughty or nice list.  Right now he is at the top of the naughty list, and then every night he cries because he knows that George, our African American Elf on the Shelf is going to report him to Santa and he is going to get coal for his gift.  (The Elf on the Shelf comes in different skin, eye and hair combinations.  Had I known that ahead of time I would have paid more attention.  Who knew?  Now that we have him I really like him.)   I am now coming down on him like thunder, and for any little infraction he is getting in trouble.  I hate being the "mean mom", not because I am afraid to discipline my child, but because I hate always looking for the bad things he does.  I haven't had to look too hard lately.  I try to notice when he is doing something good and give positive reinforcement, but that is not working right now.  It is time to institute plan "B"

All of this added together is bringing me down into my winter funk.  I feel like I am trying to claw my way out of a dark hole and every time I get a few feet up, I slide back down again.  I am trying to enjoy the holidays and make it something that the kids look forward to, and hope that I can learn to look forward to it again, too.  I am really trying to put up a good fight, but I feel like right now I am losing.  I am allowing myself one day to have a pity party for myself and tomorrow I will come out swinging. 

Tomorrow we will be back to our regularly scheduled program.  Thanks for your patience. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Christmas Tree is Up!

This was the best year for putting up the Christmas tree EVER!  We got a new tree this year that is much slimmer so we can actually fit something else in the room.  I also got Colin to fluff out the branches which is one of the worst parts about putting up the tree.  It always leaves my hands with little cuts that hurt like crazy when I wash them. 

To make things even better, I had to go to a party so I left the boys to hang up the ornaments.  They did a spectacular job.  I am going to overlook the fact that Ryan did it entirely in his boxer shorts. 

Here are some things that I overheard from Ryan, my six year old, boxer-clad son, while coming in and out of the room:

"I just love Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.  It is one of my favorite tunes!"

While he was opening every new box of ornaments to see what was inside, "I know this one will have the Pickle.   Darn, not in here."  This happened about 25 times.  I had told them the pickle was in the drawer in the dining room before they started. 

"See Colin?  You should really take advantage of having a little brother and play with me more often!  We can have a lot of fun."

After we took out our Elf on the Shelf, "George's eyes keep following me everywhere.  It is creeping me out."

They are finally old enough to be trusted with all the ornaments.  Last year Ryan knocked the tree over and a ton of my favorite ones broke.  Now that I am over it, I am not so worried they will break.  The worst that can happen already did and we all lived to tell about it.  Plus Colin is tall enough to get the ornaments all the way to the top.  They had a blast and I was able to relax and let them enjoy it.  It was a win-win as they say and now this is something I can look forward to next year.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Few Updates

Frustration:  Seems all I needed to do was buy a new digital scale.  Our old scale was 15 years ago and was the kind that had the dial that spun and seemed to stop at a random number.  I bought a new digital scale on Black Friday and BAM!, I lost six pounds.  My stomach is also feeling better, so the new diet seems to be working.  I go back to the holistic chiropractor on Tuesday, so hopefully they will use their voodoo magic to see what was really causing the problem and I can start to add a few things back into my diet.  I am kind of hungry and tired of being a hunter/gatherer. 

Colin:  He is still dragging.  He did make it back to school for 1/2 a day so far.  He has awesome teachers that are willing to help him get back on track.  We are really kind of lucky.  Hopefully he will feel good enough to go next week.

An update on some sparks of light.  Kevin and Trina are back home and Trina's kidney is working like the little engine that could!  I am so happy for both of them.  As far as the baby goes, she is starting her chemo today so she can have her bone marrow transplant next week.  Her disease is called EB, and it affects her skin.  Since skin is your biggest organ and protects all the others, this is a huge deal.  I am telling you this so we can raise awareness to this disease.  You can get information here.

As far as the state of the blog, it is bigger than I could have dreamed when I started it.  I am close to 5,000 hits.  So far I have made $7.76.  I don't see a penny of it until I reach $100.00  At this rate it will take about 14 years to see any money from it.  I don't know why that makes me giggle so much.  I have done 116 posts.  This is the first time that I can do a review of a year of my life and I think I really like it.  So thanks for finding me, and thanks for coming back. 

I am off to put up the Christmas tree before Ryan freaks out.  He is SO EXCITED!  Instead of getting all bent out of shape while I am bending the tree back into shape, I am going to try to live in the moment and just go with it.  If you hear some screaming coming from my one third acre of woods, you will know that the moment put me over the edge.