Life... Health... Reviews...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Looking at the Sky on Friday & other observations

I wrote this post two weeks ago in Windows Live Writer and never got it to post.

Every reference is to two weeks ago. :)

This morning before the children were awake (at around 5:30 a.m.) I went outside to put the trashcan on the curb. Too many irritations and darkness prevented me from doing it last night. As I walked out into the cool morning air, with a sweater thrown over my pajamas, I paused to soak in the quiet moment.

I also paused to make sure there weren’t any scary night critters lurking nearby.

When I walked down (up?) my driveway, I looked to the sky… my normal response and action when I go outside… and the sky was AMAZING. I saw the big dipper and thousands of other stars. I can’t remember the last time I saw a sky full of stars like that. It’s such a magical thing – the sky – and I’ve always been in love with it. What a clear and beautiful morning.

On the way back into the house, my eyes searched for the moon. I found it by craning my neck and looking between a tree and my house. It was just a sliver with the shadow of the entire moon in view. Like the ghost of it hanging around. It was so bright in the sky that the entire moon could be seen even though it wasn’t a full moon. How cool is that? I thought.

What a wonderful moment?

I sighed because I had to go back inside to start the day and wake the noisy sleeping children. Oh well, maybe I’ll get a chance to see that type of sky again. I didn’t try to take a picture because my camera doesn’t do well with photos of a night sky.

This afternoon, before my son got off the bus, I noticed that I could see the sun in a spot that I normally can’t. Ahhh…. must be the missing leaves. This is what I saw:

DSCF4030 DSCF4031


Although I don’t get to do this every week, I love participating in Looking at the Sky on Friday. It allows me to pause and take notice of something wonderful and beautiful.



DSCF4027 In other observation news, I went to my son’s school on Thursday for their Thanksgiving luncheon. They had tables set up in the gym for us to eat with our children – it was very nice. Andre’s class had made their parents placemats and thank you cards. They piped in classical music and my son was so proud to eat with me and his youngest sister. He was also proud to show of his Indian headdress. Of course I forgot my camera, but I captured him at home showing his siblings.

Doesn’t he look sweet?

Boy, am I glad it’s Friday and my children will be spending the weekend with their father. TGIF, for real!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

All the way around the rambling barn


It’s 12:47 a.m. on Thursday morning. Thanksgiving. I’ve been trying to get to bed since about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night. What’s the hold up? My computer.

I really want to rant and rave about how I am so extremely, overly, completely tired of this laptop, but in the spirit of trying to remain thankful I am flipping through a magazine as the computer sloooowwwlllyyyyyy loads, shuts down, opens, etc.

You see, I needed to do one more thing (well, actually more than one, but I was going to settle for one) before I turned in. Now, I don’t know if my computer gets tired at this time of day, if FireFox decides it’s done fooling around with me or if the Internet superhighway is backed up with traffic, but whatever the problem it. happens. about. every. night. Oops, did I just spend the last two paragraphs complaining?

Since the new day has already arrived, I am scheduling this to post in the morning so I can be one of the first to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving on the actual day. Despite my irritation at this piece of technology, I also want to acknowledge you – my blogging friends – and let you know how much I am grateful to have you in my life.

A few of the other things I am thankful for:

  1. My children
  2. My computer ‘cause something is better than nothing
  3. Stealing from Lin: My washer and dryer
  4. The food that we eat everyday!
  5. My brain, body and everything up, down and in between
  6. The ability to breathe, walk, talk, sing, jump… you get the point
  7. Looking 28 - LOL. (That’s the age someone told me I looked yesterday!)
  8. True friends. Even if/when we argue.
  9. Heating pads
  10. Legal drugs (don’t ask.)
  11. Men … LOL, I couldn’t resist. Well, most of them. No, really. Men.

This list is in no way all inclusive. In fact, I should probably get some sleep so I can think more clearly. But, I am sure you get the point, right?

I’ll break it down just in case: My computer irritated me and I chose not to get irritated, but to think about pleasant things and what I am thankful for. Even if I can’t be serious in the process.

I really hope you enjoy your day and are able to relax. Even if it’s for just 30 minutes or so. Try to shoot for an hour, okay? I’m already thinking about how I can best spend time with my children tomorrow and still get some things done. This, in fact, is not my weekend with them so I should maximize on doing something fun and positive with them because this is the first time I’ve had them all together in about a month when my oldest came home last.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Put your heads together

Little instructions = lots of giggles!

5 Minutes for Mom WW participants

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Balancing health and life

My health and weight loss journal

Do you remember when I told you about my magazine addiction and the large reading pile that I normally have? Well, that pile is about as big as it normally is. I've even picked up a magazine in it and realized it was the September or October issue. Today, I finished reading the October issue of Working Mother magazine. The cover article* was about Stephanie Ruhle Hubbard, wife and mom of two boys and managing director of structured credit sales at Deutsche Bank Securities in New York City.

Sometimes I'm not able to read the cover article in Working Mother magazine because (picture me with head bowed in shame) a lot of the women they feature are younger than me and way more successful. In my eyes. I know, it's bad to compare.

Anyway, there was something Stephanie said that made me feel a little better about the feelings of discontent I have about having my children at home during working hours (the youngest all day and the two middles ones from 3 p.m. on).
Acknowledging that every mom makes trade-offs, Stephanie believes many fail to make themselves a priority. "I hate it when I hear some great working moms say they know they'll never be the best mom," Stephanie says. "The best mom is a happy mom. It's not about martyring yourself. You don't need to change ten diapers a day to be an excellent parent."

That doesn't specifically apply to moms like me - working from home, staying at home or a lot of both - but it did echo with a realization: I can be my best when I'm happy. It's the reason I put my two middle children in daycare part-time when I was trying to grow my freelance business and take better care of my health situation. It's the reason I needed to put the youngest in daycare when my divorce proceedings began and I was trying to make more money in my freelance business.

I don't have to feel guilty, inadequate or beat up on myself for not wanting my children around sometimes. I don't often reveal my feelings because I don't want to get the frown from the moms who gush about how much they love and appreciate every second and just want to be around their children 24/7. My feelings of love for my children overflow and I know how blessed I am to have them, but I also know that I do them a disservice when I don't have my sh*t together.

If I'm rushing to do paid posts and yelling at them to be quiet. Or telling them I have to work when all they want to do is show me another drawing. When I'm late for a deadline or a promised post and I don't sit down to eat with them. ... All of that just makes me feel worse when I know I have to do it to make money because it's all I have coming in under my own steam and hard work. Not only do I feel like a failure as a parent, but as a writer, provider and businesswoman.

So, I'm going to try and keep in mind that I have to do what I need to in order to be happy to be a better parent, a better person and to maintain my health. I also have to remember what the article said a little further down: "For Stephanie, being a good mom is about memory-making..."

That's why despite looming deadlines I went into the living room this afternoon and pulled my pre-school daughter into my lap, asked my 4 year old for the picture she wanted me to color and we - along with my 6-year-old son - colored for about 40 minutes or so. It wasn't all pleasant because a couple of them whined and I was a little tense because I feel stagnated today, but I finished coloring my picture and spending time talking about colors and how beautiful they did with their coloring.

Tomorrow my children probably won't think twice about whether I need to work or not, but they'll most likely ask if I want to color again. I'm going to let that make me happy and go make some more memories with them.

*The article in the October issue of Working Woman was written by Suzanne Riss for a regular column called "This Is How She Does It."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekly Inspiration: Self-less love & Happy Blogsgiving

One of the things I like to do each week is participate in Weekly Inspiration that is hosted by Heidi (ROFL - inside joke) Heather at Maternal Spark. Sometimes I am not feeling inspired at all and a lot of times I "don't feel the love," but when I go to her place and read her current inspiration or any one of her other posts I am often inspired. Today, I click on by to see what's inspiring her and get a little inspiration of my own and the love is all over the place.

For me.


I was so surprised and pleased that I sat here with a silly grin on my face and tears popping up behind my eyes. I even felt chills. :D Yup, the big silly grin is still there.

Heather is Canadian and celebrated Thanksgiving in October (shame on me for not saying Happy Thanksgiving) and she's selflessly recognizing Blogsgiving today by putting up the Blogsgiving button. Her comments, her linky love and her undying support of me and my blog is what's inspiring me. I am always amazed at the love my blog friends display to me:

Lin at Duck and Wheel with String always has something funny and encouraging to say. If that doesn't work then she just kicks me in the butt!
Patricia at PJ's Prose offers the sweetest comments and always ends with a hug.
Valerie at Frugal Family Fun Blog even comments on my paid posts - now that's bloggy friend love!
Shaunalynn - the Mom behind The Art and Science of Parenting - has a no nonsense way of giving advice, offering tips and spreading love.

These bloggers, and many others (don't feel left out if I didn't include you), have embraced me and showed me what it's really like to show self-less love. I wish each of you a Happy Blogsgiving and pray that you enjoy your week, your family and your food... Happy Thanksgiving too!

I know I didn't quite follow the rules, but knowing me I will forget to do this another day and I want to acknowledge a few of my friends - even briefly. If I remember to do this again then I'll pass on some more bloggy and linky love. I'm currently in my daughter's dorm (where she's stalking me telling me they're ready to go) so I better get off of here before she comes back from putting her stuff in the van. :)

Can I get a little support?

As a person who suffers from chronic pain, I am always thinking of ways to make life a little easier on myself. In order to do that I have to pay attention to my body. For instance, I've noticed that my lower legs, shins and ankles ache more when the temperature starts to drop. My forearms and wrists hurt more when I am really cold, and when there is a chill directly on my shoulders then those start to ache. If I'm out walking around and it's cold then the pain of walking or standing too long is added to that.

A little preparation, which I rarely do, is all it takes to be somewhat more comfortable. For instance, lately I've been getting chills right before I go to bed and if I don't do something about it before I lay down then I end up having a little restless leg syndrome throughout the night. It's like I'm trying to create friction with my legs to stay warm. So I turn on the two heating pads that I have and put them under the covers. I can't believe what a huge difference this has made in my comfort while sleeping.

When I'm out and about it would be better to wear long kneesocks or tights under my jeans instead of the ankle length socks that I normally wear. That would probably prevent the additional chill even though it wouldn't do much for the chronic pain. I was wondering if some juzo support hose would make a difference. There are a variety of knee high and thigh high socks to try out as well as full pantyhose. I wonder if that would make a difference. I guess it wouldn't hurt to try a little support.

Who are you?

Today the three bambinos and I rode (well, I drove) two hours south to pick up their big sister from college. The plan was to get here in time to have lunch with her after her first class then she would go to class, and we'd all leave later this afternoon.

Of course while she's in class I decided to get some work done while the two younger girls bug one of Amber's roommates and the boy gets caught up in cartoons. As I'm opening up the various sites that I work on, read or just visit, I'm continually confronted with signing in. It's funny how using someone else's computer can alienate you from your regular virtual stomping grounds. I almost wanna go to every community and every site that I belong to just so when I visit someone's blog my picture will come up. LOL... Don't worry, I resisted and, yes, I realize it's not a big deal. But what blogger would let that pass by without mentioning it?

Speaking of people wondering who I am: Amber treated me and her siblings to lunch at the campus cafeteria. That place was packed. We had to walk around looking for somewhere to sit. My children were stunned at how many kids were there and stared in wide-eyed wonder. I, on the other hand, felt a little uncomfortable. Here I am a 40+ year old woman with four children and I felt like every eye in the place was on me. It made me think of my freshman year in college when I was just 17 years old - walking into the cafeteria then trying to find somewhere to sit is a form of torture.

It amazed me that Amber walked around so confidently - at least she appeared that way - with not a care in the world just searching for a place to sit. I kept pausing at different tables where just a few people were seated, but she urged me on. Didn't she know that everyone was looking at me?


I already know that people are surprised when they see us together. They often think we're sisters and then they glance at the younger children trying to figure it all out. One of the ladies who worked there said Amber and I look just like sisters. I bet I didn't have those college teenagers fooled despite my trendy jeans, layered t-shirt and jingly bangles. I wonder if they thought, "Look at that mom trying to fit in." However, I'd like to think they thought, "Is that that girl's mom? Wow, she's hot and she looks so young!" LOL

I guess I should take this opportunity to search for paid posts and finish a couple of other assignments while hoping I don't come across a site/account where I can't remember my user name and password (yea, they're normally the same all over, but there's always one...). Please, if you see an URL lurking about that you've never seen before, it's just me, you don't have to wonder: Who are you?
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