Murphy’s Law for Mommies

1. Want to have some company….just go to the bathroom. The phone and doorbell will both ring and one of your children will barge in.
2. If that doesn’t work, plan a day alone….people will call, come by and you may even get invitations to go do things.
3. If you are still lonely, plan a day alone with your husband. That should do the trick….especially if you end up in the bedroom. Someone will SURELY come by to interrupt that!!
4. Feel like your kids are ignoring you? Just try to clean something. As you make the bed, they will pile on it taking pillow cases off the pillows, letting dogs in who will then take their turn “helping” and pee on your nice clean bed spread. (THIS REALLY HAPPENED!)
5. Think your children don’t play with their toys enough…just try to sort them out. As you sort and create piles of things to throw away, the toys will magically become brand new, wonderfully fascinating and irreplaceable. (You won’t get to get rid of anything, but the toys will get used again! This works with clothes too.)
6. Want your kids to sit down and be quiet? Try watching something inappropriate for them. They will automatically sit down and stare at the screen and soak up every word and image you do NOT want them to.
7. Want your children to dress nicer? Just tell them you’re going to make mud pies in the backyard. They will come out wearing their Sunday best!
8. If you have picky eaters and want them to eat their veggies, make only enough for the adults in the house. The kids will eat them all up leaving you with the hotdogs and potato chips.
9. To get your kids to get more exercise, get them dressed to go to church first. While you get dressed, they will run outside and play as hard as they can so until they are sweaty, their clothes are ripped and they stink to high heaven.
10. Finally, if you want your kids to sit down at the table, just try playing a board game too complicated for kids with YOUR friends. Your kids will be in your lap watching and sabotaging your every move.

Happy Friday Everyone!!!


Old School Perks

I LOVE technology. I really do. One of the reasons I write this blog is to enjoy using technology. HOWEVER, there really are some major perks to sticking with old school. Here are just a few of my favorites:

1. I have never had to call Amazon to fix the wireless connection for my paperback.
2. I’ve never had to reset my newspaper.
3. I don’t have to buy batteries for or recharge my magazines.
4. My hardbacks may be stiffer but not necessarily ruined if I drop them in the bathtub.
5. My phone book doesn’t show me 200 places by the same name in 20 different cities when I only need the local store.
6. I never worried about my landline emitting signals into my brain and causing cancer.
7. That same landline never used to beep and blink at me all night.
8. I never felt I needed to chase my three-year old down to get a book away from her (like I have with my kindle).
9. I never worried that my book was heating up too much while I was reading it.
10. The best perk about a good old fashion book is that I have NEVER had to wrestle my favorite novel away from my children so that I could read it!!!

Calling ALL Villagers!!!

We joke about it. We complain about it. Everyone KNOWS it’s happening, but no one seems to realize that this is what is wrong with our society. We are too dang busy and everyone thinks we all need to have double income families and all the things money can buy. Let me tell you what money cannot and does not buy. It does not buy memories or time we’ve missed with our loved ones. It does not buy back the opportunities we pass up because we have something “better” to do.

I know many people get reflective after a loved one passes, but this is not a new feeling for me. This is really my life’s purpose; looking to create memories for my children and teach them to cherish those memories. When I was a child, I spent weeks not just days with Grandparents and cousins. We had cookouts and get-togethers and traditions that were mandatory for family….not optional. As a teenager, I may have resisted that once or twice, but even then, I took a great deal of comfort in knowing that I had a large number of people to turn to, to count on.

I once heard a story about a band of young elephants that were invading a village and killing off the people. This was very unusual so people began to study it to try and figure out why it was happening. It was happening because the elder elephants had been killed off by hunters. The only way to teach the younger generation was to reintroduce older elephants back into the herds. The elders taught the younger ones respect and how to “behave”. It was what had to happen.

Now we already know as a society that we need our daddy’s to be involved, but what I lament right now is how so many other people just seem to put the responsibility of raising children strictly on the parents. If a child misbehaves, everyone judges the parents instead of trying to help. Whatever happened to the days when people just picked up someone else’s kids just because they enjoy spending time with them. My aunts and uncles did that with me. So did my grandparents, my music teacher, my pastor and his wife….the list goes on and on.

WE parents struggle because it feels like we are doing this all by ourselves. Gone are the days where grandma lived in our house and we could count on that extra pair of loving arms to help with the babies. Now she’s off “doing her thing” or is unable or unwilling to help. Siblings live too far apart or every adult in the family works 24/7. If you stay home with your kids, people stop inviting you places….”because you have the kids”. People stop just dropping by…”because the kids might be napping.” They forget that WE NEED YOU!!! We need each other. The kids need to have more adults around to be examples. Mom’s and Dad’s need more adults around to help us feel human again…not just like servants to the demanding little beings that have invaded our homes.

I feel like one of the SUPER lucky ones most of the time. I have super loving friends, in-laws and step-kids who work to keep the ties strong. Still, I am saddened that my own brother lives 100 miles away and doesn’t try to steal my children….and I really do wish he would. He would be the perfect person to teach them how to fish.

I call on you now Villagers. Think about your loved ones. Think of your nieces, nephews, grandkids, cousins, friends…whomever it might be….steal them for the day. Take them to the movies or just go hang out at their house to be that extra pair of arms. It really does mean the world to them….and their parents.

All I need to know I learned from Spongebob!

2. Never give up!! (Not sure he’ll ever get his boating license.)
3. Be on-time.
4. Love your neighbors….even if they don’t love you.
5. Do your best at whatever you’re doing….even a fry-cook is important.
6. Take care of your equipment….that Spatula is your livelihood.
7. Be absolutely loyal to your friends.
8. Always look on the Brightside.
9. Be creative and even the most mundane tasks can be exciting.
10. And finally, when you dedicate yourself to something, do it completely and your rewards will be great!!!

So now that I’ve finished massage school…..”I’M READY!!!”
Let the fun begin!

Small Gifts from God….

Remember blessings come from everywhere. Today I was so blessed.
1. My sister in law was able to watch my daughter so I could go to the doctor.
2. There was almost no wait at the doctor’s office.
3. There was NO wait at the pharmacy.
4. Then when I got home, my daughter took a nap out of no where and I was able to rest.

Thank you Father.

Count your pennies

A few months ago I saw a show that said Americans have all kinds of money just laying around their house. At the time, I was inspired to count up my change and sure enough…we had $70.00 in CHANGE. Cool!!!

Now I’m inspired to pass on a few tips that I’ve learned over the years on how to better your financial situation. Some of these are things I learned from my parents. Others are from friends and some are just my own personal discoveries.

1. Just at the introduction implies….save that change. You never know when it may just pay that unexpected bill.
2. Keep track of where you’re spending your money. At first, you may need to write down every dime you spend. You’ll create new habits quick.
3. Eat at home or brown bag it as often as possible. (Take snacks with you from home even when you’re headed out for errands. Those trips to McDonald’s can really add up quick.)
4. Consolidate your errands. Don’t make three trips if you can leave the house just once. Gas is far to expensive to take multiple trips if they can be done all at once.
5. If you have credit cards, pay them off EVERY month. If you do this long enough, soon the bank pays YOU to use them….seriously!!!
6. If you aren’t used to using a card, discipline yourself by using it to pay a bill you normally pay. Then pay the card off every month.
7. If you have an outstanding debt, make sure you are keeping in touch with the company. Most companies will work with you as long as you are making SOME kind of payment.
8. SAVE a little money every month. The only way to make this happen is to pay yourself FIRST. What you have to do is put something aside before you pay your bills. At first you may only put aside $10.00, but when you get used to skipping one meal out or buying $10.00 less in junk food, you’ll realize you might be able to afford $15.00….then $20. It adds up quick.
9. Skip cable and get Netflix (or Hulu)….if you really need to watch TV.
10. And the last tip for the day is….get creative and keep an open mind. You’ll see opportunities for savings in all kinds of new places. I have.

I think this will be my new theme for a while considering I really need to keep this in mind myself. Please feel free to share your tips with me here. Everyone loves great ideas and reminders of how to save a little dough. Have a happy Tuesday!!!

When to say No

I used to think that teachers were punished for being good at their jobs. “Oh you know Spanish…could you translate this? You’re good at classroom management, could you cover this class? You’re good at paperwork, could you be Lead?”

Now I know that that is just human nature. “Oh, you know how to X….then could you do Y for me?” I guess it’s a compliment. People are recognizing that you are good at something. However, during the last six months it has been painfully pointed out to me that I have an extreme problem with saying no. The wonderful thing is…that is changing. I have learned now to set my limits and understand when no is an appropriate answer.

While I’m still working on this, these are the times I think we all might do better to say no:

1. When you’re plate is already too full and someone is asking you to do something that is their responsibility.

2. When saying yes enables someone to continue self-destructive behavior or continue not to know how to do something on their own.

3. When you realize (like with your children), that the person is asking mostly because you always say yes and they are just used to you doing whatever they ask….even if you don’t want to….which brings me to the next one.

4. Say no when you flat don’t want to do what is being requested of you. (Of course this doesn’t apply to every situation, but use common sense here.)

5. When saying yes makes you resentful or angry. (I think this one is VERY important when dealing with loved ones.)

6. Say no when someone has asked too much of you because if you don’t yet…you will eventually get angry or resentful.

7. Say no when you are not feeling well. Saying yes here is just self-destructive.

Now as I have already pointed out, common sense is very important here. There are times in life when we all just need to step up and take on something we don’t necessarily want to. That’s just the nature of life. We will have to plan funerals, pay bills and take care of family even when it isn’t exactly what we want to do. For me to help determine when to say yes, I simply ask myself three questions: Is this something I want to do? Will this really help this person? Is this in any way my responsibility or should this person be handling this on their own? These answers are not always clear cut, but they help me make my decision.

My new direction in life has allowed me to take on and say yes to the things I LOVE to do which is take care of my kids and my grandkids and spend more time with family in general and as I finish my class, I can expand those happy moments to include more of my friends and family. I just hope I can stay strong and keep up my new boundaries without going to extremes in any direction. My hope is that I can and that my relationships will actually be stronger because of it. (The search for Balance continues…)