"I'm starting with the man in the mirror. I'm asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been any clearer. If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and then make a change." - Michael Jackson
I have days when all I hear all day is "I want Daddy!!", even though I'm the one who's been home alone the past three days tending to their every need, every wish, every desire. (Well, almost...) I made them their special jelly and butter toast circle sandwiches, then let them eat at the coffee table while they watched Dora. I tested the strength of my bladder countless times jumping on the trampoline. I swept up the deliberately spilled Cheerios, I fixed that special silky pillow that was falling apart, I washed your lovey and made sure it was in the bed when it was time for night-night.
While they napped, I made them twirly-skirts with the perfect amount of twirliness. When they awoke, I painted their toenails that perfect shade of pink.
I go beyond my comfort zone and catch snakes and frogs and creepy-crawlies. And let them hold them non-stop and put them in the pool with them.
But as soon as that door creaks open and daddy is home... I don't even exist. They run and jump and squeal and squeeze his neck. They fight to sit on his lap, even though mine is empty. I try to snuggle up with the three of them, and they push me away. "Nooooo... my daddy!"
And my heart hurts.
When I work all day and daddy is at home with the girls, I come home and don't even get so much as a passing glance let alone a "Hi mommy". I chase them, trying to steal some smooches, and they refuse.
And it hurts.
I wonder sometimes - would they even wonder when Mommy was coming home if I didn't show up at my normal time? Would they miss me?
Because I feel like, to them, I'm just some fixture that comes with the house that makes sure they're fed, they're clean, they're happy, and that their butts are wiped. I'm their cook, their maid, their seamstress. I'm the not-favorite parent that has to send them to time-out when they say ugly words to me.
I don't feel loved.
I feel invisible.
And it hurts.
The song ended and Big Sis pleaded "Just one more, puhleeeeeaassee!". I told her she could listen to just a little bit and then we'd go inside... she agreed, so I let the CD continue to the second song, "You Drive Me Crazy". She was wild with glee again, giggling and dancing in her carseat.
And then I turned it off.
Oh. My. Lawd.
What ensued was the biggest, blubbering, crying, whining, hitting, screaming, doggone fit I have ever seen. Huge crocodile tears streamed down her face as she begged me to turn the music back on and let her listen some more. She kicked at me when I tried to remove her from the carseat, as if wanted to have a sit-in protest until she was again allowed to hear Britney. It was awful. Hilarious, but awful. The girl didn't calm down until I told her I'd put some of the music on my old music player so she could listen whenever she wanted.
And as we turned off the lights to go to bed, from her room we could still hear her singing... "hit me baby, one more time..."
Britney, girl, you still got it.
Swimsuits people. Lots of swimsuits.
And, this year, lots of butt crack.
Seriously. I didn't know this was a going trend.
For some, it's a matter of the suit riding a little low so that as the person in question makes their way back to their vehicle, arms full of inner-tubes, coolers, and such, their crack just starts to peek its way over the edge of the fabric. Hey, it happens.
For others... it's a matter of denial.
There is no way you don't know that your swimsuit is, um, five sizes too small for the junk in your trunk. And in case your full-length mirror is telling you otherwise, allow me to break it to you gently.
Okay... how do I say this to you?
Oh yeah - your swimsuit is too small for you.
Do us all a favor - be real with yourself and buy the appropriate size. It will be more flattering on you and less revealing to all of the little kids at the snowcone stand.
As Whitney said - "Crack is whack!"
We go about our daily lives, enjoying the many freedoms that we have, taking advantage of those freedoms, without giving a second thought to why we are lucky enough to live in a country such as this. Except for the occasional yellow ribbon, we forget that our armed forces are still fighting a war that began over 6 years ago.
We, as a generation, have come to expect that our government is here to take care of us, to provide for us, to feed us, house us, to make sure we have medical care. All this, and yet we expect to not have to pay taxes, we expect to not have to work to provide for our families, we expect bail-outs when we make bad decisions.
We take a lot from a nation to which we give very little.
We forget that freedom is not free.
I can't tell you how many times I've been at public functions where men and women in uniform, young and old, walk past the crowd... and no one stands to honor them. The American flag, the symbol of our country, is carried in a parade... and people can't be bothered to put their hands over their hearts to salute it.
Many have gone before us and willingly paid the ultimate price - life - so that we might be able to live in a country where women are allowed to vote, a black woman can sit at the front of the bus, one can choose his or her own religion, and where you are innocent until proven guilty.
Where, as a nation, is our patriotism?
What can we do for our country and for the freedom of man?
I leave you with the famous words spoken on January 20, 1961:
"Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower,
Vice President Nixon, President Truman, reverend clergy, fellow citizens, we
observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom—symbolizing
an end, as well as a beginning—signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have
sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed
nearly a century and three quarters ago.
The world is very different now.
For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human
poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for
which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that
the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand
We dare not forget today that we are
the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and
place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new
generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a
hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or
permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always
been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the
Let every nation know, whether it
wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any
hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival
and the success of liberty.
This much we
To those old allies whose
cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful
friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures.
Divided, there is little we can do—for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at
odds and split asunder.
To those new States
whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of
colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more
iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But
we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom—and to
remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back
of the tiger ended up inside.
To those peoples
in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass
misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever
period is required—not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we
seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the
many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
To our sister republics south of our border, we
offer a special pledge—to convert our good words into good deeds—in a new
alliance for progress—to assist free men and free governments in casting off the
chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey
of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to
oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other
power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own
To that world assembly of sovereign
states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments
of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of
support—to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective—to strengthen
its shield of the new and the weak—and to enlarge the area in which its writ may
Finally, to those nations who would
make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both
sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction
unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental
We dare not tempt them
with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be
certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.
But neither can two great and powerful groups of
nations take comfort from our present course—both sides overburdened by the cost
of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom,
yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of
mankind's final war.
So let us begin
anew—remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and
sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But
let us never fear to negotiate.
sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which
Let both sides, for the first
time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of
arms—and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute
control of all nations.
Let both sides seek
to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore
the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and
encourage the arts and commerce.
sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah—to "undo
the heavy burdens ... and to let the oppressed go free."
And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back
the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a
new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the
weak secure and the peace preserved.
this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the
first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in
our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in
mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country
was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to
its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to
service surround the globe.
Now the trumpet
summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call
to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long
twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in
tribulation"—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty,
disease, and war itself.
Can we forge
against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and
West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in
that historic effort?
In the long history of
the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending
freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this
responsibility—I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange
places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the
devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who
serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your
country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what
America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of
Finally, whether you are citizens of
America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength
and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward,
with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we
love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's
work must truly be our own. "
This beautiful berry colander and leaf-shaped rest are from Etsy seller dbabcock. It's all handmade pottery of original design - gorgeous!
"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." - President John F. Kennedy
Happy Memorial Day and many thanks to our soldiers, past and present.
"Triderma MD® Therapeutic Skin Products quickly heal your damaged skin. By
combining highly effective ingredients with our superior AP4 Genuine Virgin
Aloe, we've created maximum healing for even the toughest skin irritations. All
without the use of cortisone or other damaging drugs."
I was sent samples for five different products: All-Purpose Aloe Healing & Cleansing Gel, Intense Fast Healing, Facial Redness Repair, Severe Diaper Rash Fast Healing Cream, and DriOff gel, and yes, I tried them all. Here's what I thought:
All-Purpose Aloe Healing & Cleansing Gel: My youngest has a continous diaper rash as of late, and this gel worked great to clean those sticky poops (you know the ones) without hurting her little tushie. She actually stayed still during a diaper change!
Intense Fast Healing: Aforementioned baby girl also took a little tumble off our patio, scraping the back of her leg on the concrete in the process. I put this on her abrasion for several days and it healed quickly without scabbing or scarring. I also used it on myself, after burning my forearm on an oven rack, and I can't even tell where the burn was anymore! As accident-prone as it seems we are, maybe I should invest in a lot of this stuff!!
Facial Redness Repair: Being a fair-skinned gal, it doesn't take much to make my face pink - and although I love a good facial scrub, I was reserved to doing them at night because my face would stay pink/red for hours! I used this one morning after a scrub and it did reduce the redness that I normally see. While it didn't completely disappear for an hour or so, I didn't look like I'd just run a marathon in 100 degree heat!
Severe Diaper Rash Fast Healing Cream: I was very excited to try this product on my daughter's little tushie since her diaper rash is so persistent. It reduced the redness greatly with consistent use, but didn't work as well on the raised rash as my usual diaper ointment. It doesn't really have a scent, which is nice as my usual diaper ointment has a strong medicinal smell. Now, I use it on my older daughter who sometimes gets a little irritated from the combination of the not-so-great wiping skills of a four-year old and her insistence on wearing things that are too small for her. It works like a charm!
DriOff gel: This was a little extra product sent to me to try since I live in a state that's pretty hot most of the year. I tried it in two different scenarios - working out and church. Now, I know you're all wondering why I would sweat in church, but let me explain. I wear some killer heels in church when I sing in the choir, and when my feet sweat, it's hard walking in them. I put some of this on the soles of my feet, and it worked! No more slipping out of my shoes when I'm climbing the risers! At the gym, I tried it on my forehead and on my inner thighs as those tend to be my sweat regions when I run. I did still drip from my hairline, but my forehead stayed fairly sweat-free. I also noticed less chafing on my thighs from sweaty skin, so it looks like a pretty cool product. Next up... must try it on the sweat mustache I get when I blow-dry my hair in the morning!!
Seeing as your skin is the largest organ of your body and its primary defense against infectious disease, it makes sense that you'd want to keep it as healthy and intact as possible. Since I work in healthcare, it is even more imperative that my skin is healthy when dealing with patients.
I tried it - now it's your turn!
This cute little tea towel is from Etsy seller Cornflower Creations. I love the hand-embroidered pears and gingham trim - adorable!
Photo from CornflowerCreations.
"wetting pants during time out"
And I'm Google's fifth result.
UmberDove is the maker of this beautiful pillow made of cotton, linen-blend, and silk-screened linen. She has other beautiful pillow covers as well - check them out!
Photo from UmberDove on etsy.
No, not before Christ.
I was driving the kiddos to preschool this morning, both of them chattering in the backseat, singing along (sorta) with the radio, pointing to the cows as we pass and saying "Mooooooo", both trying to get me to look at them or get them something they dropped or distract me in general when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw her.My heart raced. I let out a gasp.
She was such a dead-ringer that I couldn't believe my eyes. Instantly I was transported to a time and place when the wind was blowing through my hair, I wasn't afraid to wear a bikini in public, and life was carefree. I remembered a time when I could stay up late and sleep in, when the bags under my eyes didn't take ten minutes to conceal, when dh and I would just make up our minds to go somewhere... and then go there, with her.
Betty, my solar yellow, fully-loaded Jeep wrangler. My baby, B.C.
Man, how I loved that Jeep. Yeah, she was a noisy ride and wasn't very smooth, but she was so much fun and so me. She had a great sound system, big tires, hard and soft top. *sigh* She was the epitome of young, hip, and spontaneous - just like a girl I used to know.
Isn't it funny how our cars tend to define the stages in life that we are in? When we're young and responsible for just ourselves and our happiness, it's all about fun, fast, loud - just like my Jeep. Then we "grow up", get a couple of kids and carseats, and it's all about MPGs, airbags, the LATCH system, and a third row.
Those kiddos. They really do change everything, don't they?
These days, I alternate between a Toyota Camry and a Ford F-150, both with backseats completely consumed by carseats and children's toys/books. They're responsible vehicles, parent vehicles, A.C. (after children) vehicles. They get good gas mileage and have great safety features as well as good crash-test ratings.
Betty got 14 miles to the gallon, had only two front airbags, two doors that were removable, and a backseat I kept in a storage unit. Hmmm.
Guess I've moved to that next phase of life. My Jeep stage was fun, no doubt, and memorable, and one of these days, I've vowed to dh that I'll own another, but my mom car stage isn't so shabby either. Sure, I'm cleaning up spilled sippy cups and crushed animal crackers. I'm digging out lost socks and shoes from under the seat. (I was wondering where those went!) I'm driving the speed limit more often than not, and I sing along to "Mary Had a Little Lamb" rather than screaming Courtney Love at the top of my lungs.
The Jeep days? They were good times.
These days? They're the great times.
And I'd trade Betty in all over again in a heartbeat.
Share your B.C. ride! Post about your car before kids versus what you drive now and come back to post the link in a comment!
And as always - Follow Me baby!!
Can you say hello, fabulous?!
This gorgeous necklace is from Etsy seller candysart. The combination of peach and aqua is delicious, don't ya think?
Yes, I have been pale before, like when I had strep about a month ago and was so sick I passed out on the bathroom floor or that one night in college when I drank WAAAAYY too much.
Ok, so maybe that was more green than pale, but whatever.
And whitey? Please - what is this, fourth grade?
Powder - now that's a good one. Really. Glad you could give me your best line.
It's FAIR, people. I have fair skin.
You know... like fair maiden?
Or my fair lady?
I feel better now.
I'm making up for it today - check these out!
They're gorgeous, they're turquoise, they're... soap!!
I know, get out, right?! Yes, this is the Trio Tumbled Turquoise Rock Soap from Amethyst Soaps, made from natural ingredients to be turned into fabulous soaps that just may be too beautiful to ever use... I've got to have them!
I've currently got a thing for little birdies, and little birdies with a monogram? Adorable! This is from Circle Line Studio. It retails for $34 - you can customize the color to match your decor. Something tells me I'll be adding this to my cart someday soon!
The stillness that is two crazy girls napping,
the gentle drip-drip of the rain hitting the window,
the roll of thunder in the distance,
the warm, melting chocolate from a freshly-baked brownie,
a steaming hot cup of coffee.
Yes, indeed, this has to be heaven.
Me: "Is it possible there were bones in the meat?"
Dh: "No way! Deer bones would be too big!"
Me: "Well, something scraped my throat and feel like it's stuck in there."
Dh: (eyes wide) "Oh no..."
Me: "Oh no? What do you mean oh no?"
Dh: "Well, I was cleaning the grill before I cooked the burgers and some of the wire bristles came off the brush. I thought I got 'em all."
Me: "Wire bristles?! So you're telling me I have a piece of a grill brush in my throat?!"
Dh: "At least it was you and not the kids."
Thanks, honey. No, really. Thank you.
After an eventful morning visiting my doctor, getting x-rays, re-telling my tale to a million people, getting an esophagoscopy by the ENT...
No wire bristle in sight. Whew.
And how is your Friday going?!
About a month ago, we were down to the last binky (or so we thought) and decided that when it was gone, that would be the end of it. Oddly enough, three more of those bad boys surfaced so we were back up to four!
We lost one at Chili's.
The other two are god knows where.
And thus, here we are, back to the last one.
Yesterday, we left that precious item at daycare and yes, we made it through the night with just a little bit of fussing. Today, aforementioned precious binky was sent back home again but rather than letting lil sis have it, I laid her down without it.
And she didn't make a peep.
Let the debinkification begin.
One night, after about twenty attempts, dh finally decided it was time for an intervention - he took the doorknob off the door!
No, I'm not kidding.
Turns out, it worked. She stays in bed now and doesn't fuss, knowing it won't do her any good to try and leave her room. Apparently though, our little bedtime routine adaptation became engrained in her little mind. The other night I watched as she put her baby doll down for nigh-nigh in her new doll pack-n-play.
Lil Sis: (holding baby on her shoulder and patting her back)
"Nigh-nigh baby, nigh-nigh baby, see you in mohnin'... say n beh."
(lays baby in the playpen)
I wasn't really sure what she was saying at the end there until she repeated this routine three or four more times. Then it hit me.
Say n beh = Stay in bed!
I nearly hit the floor laughing when I realized she was repeating the words she'd heard her mommy say so many times since her bed-escape habits began. When I'd put her to bed, I'd sing her our night-night song and then whisper to her to stay in bed before laying her down.
At least I know I've got one that listens to me!
I lost my mother November 1, 2000. I remember it like it just happened, and although nearly nine years have passed since my mother's death, the wound on my heart is still just as fresh as it was that day. The long hours in surgery with no word on her condition, the words "She's not going to make it" echoing from the doctor's mouth, the disbelief that my mother was dying... even now, the memories are clear and very painful. The loss and longing for her to be here again, on this earth, is so very real.
Although I miss my mother every day of the year, Mother's Day is especially hard for me as it is typically a holiday where families get together with those mothers. I am envious that I am unable to do so. I am saddened that she is not here and my children will not know her. I am angry that she was taken too soon. I am broken because my mother is gone. My arms ache to hug her and my ears yearn to hear her voice, and even as I write this, the tears are unstoppable as the hurt repeats itself.
It's not fair, I tell myself.
I don't want to have to visit and leave flowers next to a granite marker in a cemetery. I don't want to have to close my eyes and remember her face, her laugh, her smell only to realize that memories are the only place they exist.
I don't want her to be gone, but that decision wasn't up to me.
So how do I honor her this time of year? By remembering her, telling my children stories about their angel nana in heaven, repeating some of her quirky sayings or actions to feel like she's still here. I honor her by being a good mother to my daughters and by teaching them the same values she taught me. I honor her by being the best person I can be and by continuing to try and be a daughter of whom she would have been proud. I honor her by missing her and wishing she were here.
Though I can't give her a gift or take her out for a special dinner, I will celebrate my mother and her life this coming Sunday. I hope that somewhere, somehow, she feels celebrated and knows that she made a difference in the life of her daughter.
And I'm in!!
I received my welcome packet a few days ago and could not wait to try out the new product - and can't wait to show you when I post my official review. I just might include a video - my first - for this blog.
This product just might revolutionize the way you do laundry.
It'll put the fashizzle on your laundrizzle.
My dh takes advantage of naptime as well... peeking out the bedroom and raising his eyebrows at me while I cracked the egg.
I decided to abandon the brownies for the time-being and oblige my dh, when from the mouth of a certain four-year old we hear "I NEED TO GO POTTY!!!", quickly followed by "I POOPED ON THE POTTY!! HELP ME WIPE!"
Nothing like life to kill the mood...
Matthew 6:19 "Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where
moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But accumulate
for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and
thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your
heart will be also...
33 But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these
things will be given to you as well. 34 So then, do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own."