Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - If Only

If only it snowed in August.
But, alas, it cannot be so.
For if it snowed in August,
By November, we'd be sick of snow!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Marriage Minded Monday - Controlling the Money

This week I am, once again, linking up with Nan over at Mom's The Word for her weekly Making Your Home Sing post! Go visit her right now and see what you can do to help make your home sing!
Making your home sing Mondays

Statistics show, according to this article, that the number one cause of divorce is finances.
This is not surprising, as financial problems are linked to a number of issues including depression and health problems.
What is surprising is that more couples don't try to take the necessary steps in order to prevent this kind of calamity from harming their marriage.

Sometimes problems arise and there's nothing you can do about them - an injury, a lay-off, car problems, natural disasters - all of these things can happen. But more often then not, overspending, under budgeting, and lack of communication are what lead to financial disaster.

If you find yourself in this situation, the one thing to remember is that ignorance, in this case, is not bliss. It is necessary to communicate the problem with your spouse in a non-accusatory manner: "There is more money going out than what is coming in." Work together to come up with some solutions to save money: "I can give up this monthly payment" "I can give up this weekly treat." And decide together which debts should be taken care of first: "The hospital payment is more, but the credit card is more urgent".

Once the initial debt is taken care of, it's important to look at your budget again, together, to figure out where the mishap took place to begin with and what you, as a family, can do to prevent it from happening again, or to prepare for it in case it does. It may mean the whole family makes a sacrifice such as cable or satellite service, monthly gaming fees, or even giving up certain grocery items, but in the long run it will put you in a better financial place.

After you're head-above-water again, it will be important to continue to go over finances together often. Work together to see when things look like they might falter and to come up with solutions to prevent disaster. Start planning together for those unplanned but unpreventable times that could occur. And remember, above all, communication is key!

Friday, August 26, 2011

TMI Friday - Tata Talk

Happy Friday Kiddies! It's time for another edition of TMI Friday! The post that will leave you cringing in your seat.

This week we're going to talk about a subject very close to me.
Boobs. Breasts. Chi-chi's. Tatas. Melons. Gazangas.
You get the point.
What prompted this subject?
Having electrodes stuck all around one of mine.
I realized that the gown they had given me to wear would not go around my . . . girls.
It was a bit humiliating, to tell you the truth.
I can't help that they're big - that's how God made me after all.
And I don't hear any complaints from The Hubbs.
But as the EKG specialist was placing said electrodes all around my ginormous mounds, a random thought popped into my head.
"I haven't done a breast exam lately"
Yes, that's a WEIRD thing to go through one's head, I know. But it did.
You see, cancer - specifically breast and ovarian cancer - run in my family.
My paternal grandmother died from it, and I'm fairly certain there have been others down the genetic line that have as well.
So I am generally pretty obsessive about my breast exams.
Like every-night-obsessive.
So for me to realize I hadn't done one in a while really worried me.
"Oh my God, what if I haven't checked in a week and something mysteriously appeared in that time frame??"
Yes, I am a bit of a hypochondriac sometimes.
Of course, after having the sticky things ripped off my sensitive skin (can we say OUCH???) I sat there the whole time thinking "I need to do one".
So when I got home, I did.
And, as usual, I found nothing.
So, LADIES . . .
Have you done YOUR breast exam this month?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When Parents Don't Parent . . .

It saddens me to see a young woman head down the wrong path in life.
And it saddens me even more when this young woman is someone I love dearly and that I'm very close to.
The thing that saddens me the most is that she is right now crying out for attention.
Her parents, as many young people's are, are divorced. Both parents love her dearly, there's no doubt about that.
But sadly, she doesn't see her father as often as she could or should.
That leaves her mother.
Her mother loves her very much. But her mother has issues of her own. And, sadly, the young woman I speak of is very affected by these issues.
Her mother is often in bed, in fact, her mother (according to her children) is in bed more often than not - sleeping both the day and the night away. This leaves her children to fend for themselves.
And, of course, when you have a teenage daughter with no adult supervision . . .
I am praying hard for this young woman because I know all the wonderful things she is inside.
She is a talented artist.
She is a caring, loving person.
She is a devout Christian.
She is amazingly smart.
And I also know that she is hurting inside, aching so badly for the positive attention that she is not getting.
I pray that she finds herself and realizes where this path will lead her.
Before it's too late.

This is a hard lesson for parents.
So often we want to push our children into being responsible, before they're actually ready to be responsible.
Please, mom's, dad's . . .
Let your babies be babies.
And, for their sake,
PLEASE be a parent.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Proud Mommy Moments: She's NOT a Sheeple!

This summer, parents everywhere were shocked at Abercrombie and Fitch's introduction of a new line of girls swimwear that included padded bikini tops, in sizes as small as 2T!! (either they sold out or took them off the market b/c the tops are no longer on the web site)

Well, the shock continues as Jours Apre Lunes - a French lingerie company - introduces a line of girls lingerie, including "high fashion photo advertising" in French Vogue and other fashion magazines throughout Europe. The "high fashion" photo shoots show young girls in provocative poses wearing little except panties and tiny bras or undershirts.

The problem with this is not that they're selling girls underwear - let's face it, girls need underwear and there's going to be advertising for it, but having the girls in heavy makeup, feather boas, and bouffant hairdo's is very extreme. This advertising ploy is, in fact, turning these small girls into sex objects, and into potential victims of pedophilia.

Not only that, but the message that is being sent to girls around the globe is that sexy - even at three - is the way to be.

The fashion industry these days is hitting girls at younger and younger ages. Gone are the days of rompers and jumpers and frilly dresses and pigtails. Now we are all into skinny jeans, mini skirts, off the shoulder tops, and, as my daughter calls it, "bling". Little girls as young as three are wearing outfits that I would have been sent home for in High School.

Parents, let's allow our kids to just be kids for a little bit longer. Why do we feel the need to turn our 10 year olds into sex kittens, or to allow them to wear sexy, revealing, or provocative clothing just because it's "in fashion". Tell the "fashion" industry that we don't want our daughters dressing like this by NOT buying it!

The rule in my house: You can wear what you want, as long as you're not revealing anything that you shouldn't be. We have the three B's that must be covered: Butt, back, and boobs. If those aren't completely covered, the outfit goes bye-bye. Period.

My Proud Mommy Moment?
My daughter is all of seven years old. When we were watching the news story this morning on the Today show, I turned to her and asked her "what do you think of this?" Her response: "Mom, it's stupid! Those girls look gross and dumb". I couldn't have agreed more. And I am proud to report that my child is NOT a Sheeple.

Today I'm linking up with KMama over at The Daily Dribbles for Proud Mommy Moments! Go check it out and share your PMM!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Marriage Minded Monday: Sharing Responsibility

A common complaint among today's couples is how the household responsibilities are divied out.
Many claim that they have too much responsibility - cleaning, cooking, budgeting, child rearing, etc. - while their spouse does little to help, if anything.

Shared responsibility in running a household is essential.
When one spouse bares too much responsibility, it becomes grueling, tedious, exhausting, and overwhelming.

In my own situation, the responsibilities are as follows:

My husband works outside the home, does all the yard work, does all the "fix it" chores, handles the budget, and helps with the dishes, the laundry, and the children when he gets home from work, and takes out the garbage.

I stay at home with the children, keep the house clean (most of the time), handle the meal planning, shopping, cooking, schedule, and calender, as well as keep up with dishes and clothes when he is at work.

The children also have chores of their own.

This is a plan that certainly works for us.
That being said, this might not be a viable distribution for your own family - find out what works for your family.

For example, a couple who both work outside the home may decide to divy up chores and child raising equally: the wife may plan meals, do dishes, and tuck the children in while the husband may take out the garbage, cook, and give the children their baths, or something similar.

The point it, it is important that every member of the household is involved with its running. It keeps the burden from being solely one person's, and it helps family members feel important and needed.

Today I'm linking up with Nan over at Mom's The Word for Making Your Home Sing Monday.
Making your home sing Mondays
Go pay her a visit and see what you can do to make your home sing this week!

Friday, August 5, 2011


Hello kids! It's time for a terrifying edition of TMI Friday.

Be afraid.
Be very afraid . . .

Our PS3 is on the fritz. 
It's to be expected, I guess. We'd bought it when they first came out, and we use it ALL the time - every day for 4 hours +. So for it to be acting up now is really not a surprise.

But when the PS3 and the blue ray player on your laptop goes out at the same time . . .
AND you have a Netflix blue ray sitting on your entertainment center ready to be watched.
AND you're at home in a teeny-tiny space with two teenagers, a school ager, and a preschooler - and it's TOO HOT TO GO OUTSIDE.
Life with no PS3/Blue ray Player is like . . . Is like . . . 
Well I don't know what it's like, but it's NOT FUN! So now I get to listen to the big kids whine b/c the preschooler is watching Team Umi Zoomi, I listen to the school ager whine because the teenagers are being allowed to play on computers/handheld devices, and I listen to the preschooler whine because, well, he's a preschooler.

But that's not the rage part.
The rage happened last night when The Hubbs was trying to fix the blue ray player on his laptop and try to make the PS3 work simultaneously.
He scared me!!
I think he actually cussed IN FRONT of the kids (which he NEVER does).
I was seriously afraid he was going to throw the PS3 and his lap top out the window!

But, he did not. 
He did, in fact, FINALLY get the blue ray player on his laptop to work.

But the PS3?
It's Ppppppppppphhhhhhhhhht.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Proud Mommy Moments

Today I'm linking up with KMama for PMM-Proud Mommy Moments. If you have a proud - or not so proud - mommy moment, be sure to link up with her today! And if you don't well head over to her blog The Daily Dribbles anyway and give her a shout out!

I have never been prouder of Emily as I was this week.
Of course there was the evening in the E. R. on Monday night - she was so brave and amazing. I was truly humbled watching her that night.

But then there has been the rest of the week - so far.
My daughter has turned into one of the most responsible children on the planet.

Case in point:
Tuesday I forgot to give her dose #2 of her medicine. She came to me at bedtime, and reminded me. Me, being "practical mommy" reminded her that drinking right before bed wasn't a good idea. Her response:

"But Momma, I'm supposed to have TWO DOSES!!"
I stood there, chastised.
Then gave her her second dose.

For those parents that have never delt with the problems of constipation with encopresis, this is HUGE. Typically, children with these problems will do whatever it takes to PREVENT going to the bathroom. So for Emily to understand the importance of taking her medication is amazing.

I love my daughter so much and I am so proud that she is mine.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Marriage Minded Monday - Parenting Styles

One of the biggest disagreements between couples is parenting.
Spouse A thinks they should talk things out with Billy when he breaks the window. Spouse B thinks Billy needs a spanking.
Spouse A thinks that Suzie should be grounded because she talked back. Spouse B thinks it's not THAT big a deal.

Any of this sound familiar to you?

One thing that our children must ALWAYS understand is that we parents are going to back each other up 100%. Children have to feel that their parents are a unit - supportive of each other and on each other's side.
But what happens when parents don't always agree on discipline?

This is a problem in so many households. Chances are, if you have children, you and your spouse will disagree on how to parent them - at least somewhat.

So what's the solution?

Compromise and secrecy is key in situations like this.
Compromise between parents and secrecy from the kids, that is.

First off, there has to be a common ground on how to handle any given situation. Let's say you want to spank your child, but your spouse is a talker. A good compromise would be to have a "three strikes" kind of rule - the first two offenses (of the same kind) receive a good lecture and/or grounding with a warning that the third time will result in a spanking. The child will know what is coming ahead of time, so when that third offense inevitably comes, the corporal punishment occurs.

There also has to be some form of compromise on rules of the household. For example, one parent wants the children to only play video games on the weekends - when they don't have homework. Another parent thinks that kids playing during the week isn't a big deal. So the compromise - the child may only play video games during the week for one hour or less, and only after homework and chores have been confirmed done.

As for secrecy - let's face it, if children knew that parents didn't agree on discipline and punishment, they'd certainly use it to their benefit. Children can be quite manipulative, after all, and many love to put parent against parent in "the punishment war". This is why compromise and secrecy are so important.

The final key to the puzzle of parenting together is consistency. This is, of course, is a given even when there's not disagreement. Misbehavior increases in situations where consistency is a problem. Why? Because they feel that "I got away with it that one time - let's see if I can get away with it again!"

Now, this will not guarantee anything in the area of your children. (Children will test the waters to see how far they can push someone, and they are curious about their world. So occasional misbehavior is a given. If your child becomes a "behavior problem" you should certainly seek the help of a professional.) But if your marriage is constantly "on the rocks" because you and your spouse can't seem to get on the same page, you might try talking all of it over after the kids go to bed, and writing out behaviors and disciplines together. Parenting together is hard, but the results are so rewarding.