Sunday, October 28, 2012


It's been a while since I've blogged. I'm too lazy to even look at how long it's been, but I feel like it's been a while.

So many things have happened in the last few days that I feel like my entire world is upside-down. Like nothing is familiar anymore, and I'm one giant ball of confusion.

I can't find my footing, and it sucks.

Just keep us in your prayers?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I suck at discipline.

Really, I do. I don't subscribe to any one particular method of discipline. I'm sure that's an issue in and of itself--I deal with different situations in different ways. Consistency is lacking, I'm sure.

Dois' behavior lately is insane. I get that he's being a toddler. I get that things like, "MINE!" and refusing to do things and tantrums come with the territory. But it was never this EXTREME with Bebe. And as much as we're trying to weather it, it's not working.

At daycare they use time-out. I'm not a fan. I'd prefer redirection. But redirection isn't always possible when there's 5 minutes until we need to leave and I can't get him to lay down for a diaper change. I can't exactly take a naked child to daycare.

It's just lately EVERYTHING is a battle! And he hits, he kicks, he's just ROUGH. Telling him to "be nice" and signing "nice" does nothing. I can't get him to comprehend that what he's doing HURTS or that it's NOT OK.

I am just so lost. I feel like nothing's working.

Any advice? 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I'm not done yet.

Today I went to a baby shower for a coworker, and my heart started screaming at me loud and clear, "I'm not done yet!!!" I'm not done yet, I'm not done yet, I'M NOT DONE YET.

I have had moments of being content with two children, and then I have moments like this. Moments where I JUST KNOW that our family isn't complete yet. I'm not done yet.

Of course, the challenge is that D *is* done. He feels maxed out at 2 (yes, I admit, I feel maxed out at 2, too! I mean, I have a hard enough time getting things done at night with only 2!). We are TTA for that very reason, despite these inner tuggings in my heart. He thinks they're just envy, not true desire.

It took me 5 years to convince him we should have another. It was a very long three years for me (I had been wanting another since Bebe was 2). I was really patient, but it was very, very, very hard for me.

I'm wondering if I'll be able to convince him again. Or if God will speak to his heart. Or if we really are done.

I know it's all in God's hands, but I'm not ready to be done yet. Our family doesn't feel complete. I want another baby. And not just for their squishiness and their cuteness--I want another baby because I'm ready.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

7 Quick Takes

I have been relatively "quiet" this week, but I can't resist Quick Takes. Hopefully I didn't lose any new readers by laying low for a day or two!

— 1 —
My work has slowed down to the point where my desk was EMPTY for a day! That's unheard of, seeing as how I am now doing the job of at least 3 people. I got to arrange my new desk (after having been there for a few weeks), and then I got bored... so I asked for more work! God made it so that my "free time" happened to coincide with the same time our company is prepping for a photo shoot. The person who used to do them was laid off, and the person who volunteered to help with them will be gone during the shoot week... so I've stepped into the role! TOTALLY not proofreading work, but work nonetheless! And when that's over, I've been given the opportunity to write a lesson or two for our Sunday School curriculum. I love the idea of mixing up my job--and all these new opportunities are giving me such a renewed energy (that I really needed, after reading all day for 6 years)!

— 2 —
This week I've been spending a lot of my free time thinking ahead 2 weeks to the beginning of NaNoWriMo. Yep, once again I am going to attempt to write a novel in a month. I've been thinking about the WHATs, but mostly about the HOWs. You all know how busy my schedule is--HOW will I fit in writing 50,000 words in a month?! I don't know yet, but I'm going to try.

— 3 —
This week was a week of Christmas clothing disasters. As I had mentioned a few weeks back, I need nice Christmas clothes for the kids and struggled to find something appropriate and affordable for Bebe. Well, last week I got so excited because I found this dress from Hartstrings and thought it would be perfect. I ordered it in an 8 (her size). And then later that day I looked at their sizing (WHY I didn't before is beyond me)...and realized she needed a 7. It was too late to alter Order #1, so I placed Order #2 for the correct size. I figured I'd resell or return whatever didn't fit. While I waited for this dress to arrive, I happened to spot a sweater vest in Target for Dois that would match perfectly. I was on top of the world! Until the dress came... and it turned out that what looks navy blue, red, and white plaid is actually navy blue, HOT PINK, and white plaid. No HOT PINK belongs in my holidays, so it's going back. I decided to throw my hands up in the air and order the dress I'd originally found for her from Gymboree. Thankfully, it's now marked down AND I had a coupon. I spent more than I wanted to, but in the end we're getting a dress that looks nice and will be perfect for the wedding as well as Christmas Mass.

— 4 —
Halloween is coming! Bebe is going to be Cleopatra.

I intended to make a Super Why costume for Dois but gave up (couldn't find kelly green sweatpants), so he's now going to be a pirate parrot. (Seriously, does it get any cuter than this?!)

Which, of course, means D will be a pirate. (Black pants, white ss shirt, black vest, eye-patch, and pirate hat.) Now, what about me? My work gave up on the 7 Dwarves idea so I am back to the drawing board. I have 2 yards of brown felt to create a costume with. Besides Mrs. Potato Head, any other suggestions? I'm not too keen on that one.

— 5 —
I hate to exercise. Yes, you read that correctly. I hate it. I get bored SO easily of it. I can barely stay on any apparatus for longer than 15 minutes. But the other day I managed to use the exercise bike for THIRTY minutes (a miracle!). My secret? Saying the rosary while working out! It kept me focused on something besides the time that was passing or how bored I was, and I got some prayers in, too!

— 6 —
 It has been HOT HOT HOT here this past week. It's always so weird when it goes from being 90 down to the 70s and then back up in the 90s again. Where I work is coastal and today it got to 87--that's pretty much unheard of! Just last week the kids were going to bed in fleece PJs and now they're in summer PJs again. I wish the weather would make up its mind.

— 7 —
I miss fall. Fall here in Cali definitely isn't the same as fall in Upstate NY. It's not as pretty, there's no apple picking, going to the pumpkin patch in tank tops and shorts is just odd, etc. I wish I'd appreciated it more when I lived there. Instead, I couldn't wait to move somewhere else WARMER.

Thanks for stopping by and reading! Now head on over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Talkin' 'bout the birds and the bees.

When I was growing up, my mom never talked to me about sex. I learned about my body, sex, etc. from other sources. Friends, school classes, and just accidental (like I'd deduce XYZ and friend would say, "No, that's not how it happens..."). I felt like sex was something to be ashamed of, and it was very, very confusing when I was in my first relationship at 16, because I was both curious and clueless.

I swore many, many years ago that I would do things differently with my daughter. That I would be open, honest, and provide her with whatever information was necessary to help her to understand her body and how it worked, the act of sex and its consequences, etc. I've been plotting such discussions in my head for years.

I've been ready, now, for a while... but I've been waiting for Bebe to ask first. Even when I was pregnant with Dois or after I had him, she didn't seem to have any questions. That did surprise me. Well, today on the way home we got to talking about something and finally, the question came:

"Mommy, how does a baby get inside a Mommy's tummy?"

We were almost home and I knew when I got inside that Dois would be begging for dinner and things would be chaotic, so I told her, "That's a great question and I want to answer it, but I want to take the time to talk to you girl-to-girl, so let's talk more after Dois goes to bed."

Once Dois went to bed, she and I started playing Legos and talking. I *think* I did OK. I confused her once or twice but we talked through what was confusing.

I hope I did okay. I never had anyone model for me appropriate ways to talk to your kids about sex, so I'm seriously flying by the seat of my pants.

The good thing is, I left the door opened. I told her if she ever had any questions, if she ever heard a word or something she didn't know about or understand, or if she heard kids talking about something and it didn't make sense, she could talk to me.

I hope she believes it, because she can.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Set the world ON FIRE

Yesterday on Twitter, I saw someone refer to a conference with a similar name to the NCYC. It made me stop and think, "Hey, I wonder where the next NCYC is going to be."

If you don't know what the NCYC is, it's the biennial National Catholic Youth Conference. Every two years, a city plays host to over TWENTY THOUSAND Catholic high schoolers and their chaperones for four days of faith, friendship, and fun.

I attended my first NCYC when I was in 10th grade, and, to be honest with you, it was NOT because I wanted to go hang out with other Catholic Youth. It was because I wanted to go to The Mall of America. (Hey, they say God will do whatever He can to get you where He wants you!) You see, in 1995, the NCYC was in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And one of the "side trips" my diocese was offering was to go to the MoA.

I had NO idea what I was getting myself into, and I had NO idea how my life would change as a result.

The NCYC promo video for 2013 sums it up SO WELL. I watched this video (when searching for the answer to my question) and I couldn't say it better myself.

I walked into the auditorium on the first day and saw 20,000 other kids who were PUMPED UP for Jesus. I couldn't believe it. I had been Catholic since the day I was born, but not the same Catholic as them. I made my sacraments and went to Mass, but what was missing was a relationship with Jesus. I remember seeing punk and goth-dressed kids and noting, "If I had seen them anywhere else, I'd probably think to myself, 'They don't care about God.'" I remember stopping for lunch with some newly made friends from California, and when one of them bowed his head in prayer for almost 10 minutes before eating, I remember thinking to myself, "I WANT THAT!" I left CRAVING a deeper relationship with Jesus, and actively pursued one through various avenues (at my parish, at my Catholic school, eventually as a part of our Diocesan Youth Council, etc.).

I was blessed to attend NCYC two more times since then.

 In 1997 I attended the NCYC in Kansas City, and represented my diocese on a special panel dedicated to raising awareness about violence amongst youth. I reunited with friends from around the country that I had met in 1995, and the feeling was just overwhelming throughout the 4 days we were there: "I am not alone."

In 2001 I once again returned to the NCYC as a chaperone. At that time I was considering changing my major from education to theology, and attending NCYC just solidified the fact that I wanted to become a youth minister.

Watching the promo videos for NCYC 2013 just brought so many memories flooding back. I can not WAIT for the day when Bebe is old enough to attend, and for me to join her, and for her to know and learn that SHE IS NOT ALONE.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

7 Quick Takes: Food Edition

I've mentioned a few times that I suffer from severe life-threatening food allergies. I'm allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, seafood, wheat, eggs, milk, soy, green beans, and black beans. I also have a severe form of Oral Allergy Syndrome that makes it impossible for me to eat any raw fruits or vegetables. Yes, it sucks. But I've learned that I FEEL better when I'm avoiding all of these things (not all are life-threatening, some only do major gut damage).

A question I hear ALL THE TIME is, "So, what can you eat?" Today's Quick Takes are an answer to that. Here are the 7 major staples of my diet:

— 1 —
I feel like I need a disclaimer here. Not ALL people allergic/sensitive to wheat can consume oats. There are trace amounts of wheat found in oats. Gluten-free oats do exist, too, but some say it's debatable whether or not they are truly gluten-free. Anyway, for me my wheat allergy is one that affects my gut, and apparently the trace amounts in oatmeal don't matter. I eat oatmeal for breakfast. I bake with oatmeal A LOT. Did you know oat flour is just ground oatmeal? Yeah, and they try to sell it separately in the grocery store! One of my favorite recipes is blueberry oatmeal pancakes. Yes, you can make pancakes without wheat, eggs, and soy. And they're goooood, too!
— 2 —

I get really sensitive about all the information in the news about genetically modified corn. I know that most corn is genetically modified and I shouldn't eat it (we're pretty "green" around here), but I just can't "let it go." To take corn out of my diet would be devastating. I snack on corn-based cereals and corn chips, we eat quite a bit of polenta, I use corn-based pasta occasionally, and corn tortillas and corn taco shells make it possible for me to enjoy some varieties of Mexican food.

—3 —
I love potatoes. I really, really do. I love them for any meal. I tend to have them at breakfast (hash browns, or Potatoes O'Brien), and love roasted potatoes or mashed potatoes (especially reds--with the skins--mixed with garlic and olive oil). One of the foods I miss the most is potato salad.

— 4 —

 There are many, many, MANY products involving rice that I use almost daily. Whether it's straight-up basmati rice with lunch, or Enjoy Life's Crunchy Rice cereal (which they recently discontinued--BOO!) ground up as breading for chicken or pork, or a bowl full of rice pasta for dinner, I could NOT survive without rice.
— 5 —

Cooked Fruits.
 THIS is a tricky one. Any fruits you can buy canned are pre-cooked, so while they are ALL safe, for some reason I struggle to find ones that agree with me. Right now, I buy Del Monte's Diced Pears in light syrup and Treetop applesauce. Those are the only precooked fruits I buy and consume. The rest, we do. I love living in an area where fresh produce is available year-round. During strawberry season I make strawberry "sauces" (just strawberries, sugar, and water and some thickener like pectin or cornstarch) and eat them straight-up or add them to pancakes, applesauce, etc. I bake apple crisp as often as possible. During blueberry season I go wild making the aforementioned blueberry pancakes, as well as blueberry sauce. I wish I had more variety in terms of fruit, but I try to remind myself that it's better than nothing. And, I eat PLENTY of veggies.
— 6 —

Oh yeah, no way this girl could be a vegetarian. NO WAY. Because of my allergies, we eat very little processed meat. I do have safe hot dogs (Foster Farms Turkey Dogs) and safe turkey burgers (Jennie-O) that I eat occasionally, but for the most part we buy our meat in bulk and cook it up daily. I love dark meat chicken. I'm not a HUGE fan of beef, but it's always good to have when I'm feeling anemic. I love salami, and it took me YEARS to find a Top-8 Free Salami. Thank you Hormel Natural Choice! We grind our own meat, too, and I make a lot of meatballs, meatloaf, burger patties, etc. that I can have. So, yeah, meat. And lots of it. 

— 7 —

Okay, this isn't a major staple of my diet, but everyone needs a treat some time. Believe it or not, there ARE some candies out there that I can eat! I love Enjoy Life Food's Boom Choco Boom Crispy Rice bars. They're me-safe "Krackels." Surf Sweets' Fruity Bears are not only allergy-friendly but they're dye-free and natural as well, so I eat those A LOT. And for the occasional indulgence, I am also a fan of Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, Sour Patch Watermelons, and Dots. There are other candies out there safe for me, but these are the few that I seem to gravitate toward in the checkout!

I just want to give a shout-out to some of my favorite allergy-friendly brands in case food allergy families come by: Enjoy Life Foods, Ener-G foods, Surf Sweets, Hormel Natural Choice, and Cherrybrook Kitchen.

Thanks for reading my QTs! Make sure to head over to Conversion Diary and read more!


Work-life Balance Rule #2: When plans fail, change them!

A little over a month ago I posted about having a plan when it came to balancing a full day of work, then Bebe's after-school activities, and normal household chores.

Well, about a month AFTER writing that post, I realized--This plan is NOT going to work!

My nights are crammed enough, but when you add in losing an hour or more a few nights a week, they're even more crammed! I found myself feeling perpetually stressed and overwhelmed, and it just snowballed. BIG TIME.

And Religious Education hasn't even started yet!

Monday's choir rehearsals are fine. D brings Dois to daycare so that I don't have to juggle two drop-offs, and then I'm at work early enough to leave and pick up both kids before heading to church.

Wednesday night Religious Education classes haven't even started yet, and I'm already worrying about them for a few reasons:
  1. They start at 6:30. We're usually walking in the door at 6. I'm going to have 10-15 minutes to hand Dois off to a babysitter and by the time we get home, he'll be asleep for the night. So I'll be missing my baby. :(
  2. I didn't think about the cost of RE. We paid an $80 deposit for the year and they've already cashed the check. Twice a month the group meets, and our options are to either have D take off or have a babysitter come and watch Dois. Either way, it means that 2x/month we have to "pay" for religious education.
  3. How are Bebe and I going to EAT on such a tight schedule??
I'm feeling so uncertain about what to do. Dropping it sounds like the easiest choice, but D is upset because I should've realized these things BEFORE. It was me who was so insistent on her being enrolled in RE this year. It's just that I didn't want her to think because she made her sacraments that now she's "all done." And honestly, in the business of our lives, I don't think we've taught her enough about our faith and the church. I need help with that, and that help is RE.

Thursday's plan for gymnastics has not worked out. She was able to do one make-up class at 6:30pm the first week, but ever since then, the 6:30 class has been full, meaning she had to make up her class at 5:30pm instead. Last week D had the afternoon off from work, so he was able to pick her up from after school and bring her and I picked her up. This week, though, we're both working.  We scrambled out of the house quickly this morning so he could bring Bebe to the Y and I could bring Dois to daycare. But even in all our rushing, I'm still not getting out of working until 4:40. I have 50 minutes to pick up both kids, give Bebe a snack, and get her to the gym. Oh and did I mention my commute is 20 minutes? I'm exhausted just thinking about it!

Saturday's plan for swimming lessons has gone smoothly, but because it's throwing off gymnastics so badly, we've decided to not sign Bebe up for the coming session. The plan is once the holidays are over, we'll enroll her in a January session that happens immediately after gymnastics (so she'll go from the gym to swim). It's not ideal, but it will sure work a lot of energy out of her!

So starting next week we're down to just obligations on Monday and Saturday (until RE starts up the first week in November, that will be every-other-Wednesday).

I have to say that Bebe has been WONDERFUL about completing her homework at afterschool. We've only had a few evenings where she's had to sit down and fix something or finish something once she got home. And that has been a HUGE thing for us. Eliminating an hour of homework time at home has allowed us to spend more quality time together at night!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Quality time.

Over the weekend I had to attend a mini-retreat at our church for parents of children enrolled in religious education. I can't say I learned anything new during the two hours there, but one piece of information made me go, "Hmmm...."

Bebe gets up at 6:30am. Our goal is to leave the house by 7:20. That's 50 minutes. We have a 10-15 minute car ride. That's about an hour, maybe more.

I pick up Bebe by 6 o'clock. Her bedtime is 8:30 (although sometimes I let her stay up until 9). That's 2.5 hours.

I spend THREE AND A HALF HOURS a day with Bebe. That's it! 3.5 waking hours. And honestly, it's even less some days. On Tuesdays it's usually only 1 (because Dede picks up the kids and watches them at night--I come home after they're in bed). On Thursdays it's usually 2.5 (because she is at gymnastics for an hour).

HOW do we spend time together during those few hours? The wrong way.

I'm ashamed to admit that most of the time, Bebe walks in the door and sits in front of the TV until bedtime. Sure, sometimes she plays computer or her DS instead, but she usually just vegs out. She even eats dinner in front of the TV most nights, because I've usually got Dois already eating and my meal isn't done being cooked yet.

D and I fall into the trap of complaining about how she spends SO much time in front of the TV and she has so many toys she never plays with... but it's really our fault. We enable her. Because we know if she is playing, 90% of the time she is begging us to play with her... and we're occupied with something else. She's high maintenance. So we stick her in front of the TV or whatnot instead.

I have even LESS time with Dois every night, and yet some nights I get in an episode of Super Why.

Why do I do this? What is my primary vocation? To be a mother to my children, or to be a wife?

Starting tonight, things are different.

For starters, when we walked in the door, I told Bebe she could have 1/2 hour of "screen time" but she needed to decide WHEN and WHAT right then. She chose a favorite show (Wild Kratts) at 8pm.

Bebe, Dois, and I all sat down to dinner together. Sure, I had to "entertain" Bebe by making up a Halloween story, but we all sat down at the table together.

After dinner, Bebe retreated to her room to play, because Dois was begging for "night night." Turned out he didn't want to GO "night night", though, he wanted to play. So for 30 minutes she hung out in her room playing with her Littlest Pet Shop toys, while Dois and I played in the hallway. (I was doing diaper laundry, and sitting in the hallway near the washer ensured I could keep it going while still playing.) He made a game out of me tossing all of his (6) pacis in the air and then he would scramble to get them, then hand them back to me one-by-one... only for him to beg me to do it all over again. :) We played this game until I decided he was worn out enough to go "night night" for real. It was so fun to play a random "game"--because one thing I feel is that I don't really KNOW how to play with my kids anymore.

Bebe and I played games (Guess Who? and Don't Break the Ice) for a half an hour (while I simultaneously finished my dinner--because Dois had begged for "night night" before I was done), and then it was time for her show. She watched, and when it was over, she went straight to bed--with little fighting or protesting. (That's some sort of miracle.)

I'm determined to make the 2.5-3.5 hours per day at least 75% quality time. I don't think it's going to be easy--trying to juggle everything never has been my strong point. I'm also trying to figure out how I can focus on my time with the kids and not be doing something else at the same time... One step at a time, though, right?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

7 Quick Takes: Holiday Edition

As always, thanks to Jen at ConversionDiary for hosting!!

I've got holidays and celebrations on my brain, so I'm going to rattle off my thoughts in today's version of 7 Quick Takes!

Halloween is approaching, and we have no costumes yet. Not panicking yet, but need to get on the ball. Bebe has changed her mind a few times, but I think we've decided on Cleopatra. As for Dois, I thought I would make him a Mr. Potato Head costume with the leftover brown felt I have from last year's Goomba costume, but I've changed my mind and he is going to be Super Why. I'm working to find all the pieces, but we have green sweatpants and a sweatshirt already.

Am I the only person who gets annoyed at how Halloween has stretched out into a multi-night affair? I know if I don't like it, I shouldn't participate in it... but the kids always enjoy the madness. We have a YMCA Halloween event on the 26th, then Trunk-or-Treat at our church on the 27th, and of course there's the ACTUAL Halloween on the 31st. Oh, and did I mention that Bebe is dye-free and HFCS-free? So there are always battles over her wanting to eat her candy, until we offer her to trade it in for money. Works for everyone!

I'm already shopping for the kids' Christmas outfits. Having kiddos 6 years apart means it's hard to find coordinating clothes. I'm always on a wild goose chase! This year I need them sooner than ever, though. D's sister is getting married on November 24th. The wedding isn't very formal, but she asked Bebe to be the "flower girl." I'm thinking if I get something that doesn't look too Christmas-y for the kids, we can use them for the wedding AND Christmas. We don't usually get too fancy for Christmas since there's no family nearby, but this year might be an exception. I'm hoping this dress from Gymboree gets discounted more, and I'm hanging on to a 20% off coupon as well. I'm thinking with Bebe in green, I can put Dois in navy blue and voila!

 Speaking of Christmas, we have a tradition of doing matching family Christmas pajamas. The first year we did them, they were from The Children's Place. Then we did Crazy 8. Then Hanna Andersson for the kids and Crazy 8 for D and I. Last year, we searched low and high and came up with nothing, so we got the kids matching PJs from the Gymboree outlet and D and I sat that year out. It looks like this year (again) we're sitting out, as Crazy 8 didn't sell any adult-sized PJs this year, and I'm not too keen on Gymboree's. Plus, they're selling out of sizes already while they're as expensive as all get-out. I usually wait for sales. I'll be keeping an eye on the Children's Place (they're not out yet), Company Kids, The Disney Store, and Hanna Andersson as well, but they usually are too expensive for us.

Want to hear about our week of insanity? Thanksgiving is the 22nd (I'm hosting--I LOVE it!), my sister-in-law is getting married on the 24th, D and I are celebrating our 9th anniversary on the 27th (we're both taking the day off!), and then Dois turns 2 on the 29th (and I'm taking the day off to spend it with him). Whew! Add to that the fact that my mother-in-law might be staying with us then, and it should be interesting!

I love Christmas music, and I can't wait until it's playing constantly. I know, I am weird. I like everything from the funky to the traditional to the religious. There are very few Christmas songs that I can't stand to listen to. Christmas music ALWAYS puts me in such a good mood!

One day when I wasn't at work, the department brainstormed costume ideas and a theme. They came up with Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs, since there are 8 of us. My boss is going to be Snow White. They renamed the Dwarfs, though, and apparently, I am "Smarty". I saw this awesome costume and am considering doing it. What do you think?!


What's my motivation?

The truth is in, 
the proof is when 
you hear your heart start asking, 
"What's my motivation?"
-Newsboys, Shine

      Last night I started writing a blog post and it was stressful. STRESSFUL. I couldn't get the words out, and when I did, they didn't sound right. I was critiquing my "voice", discouraged by the length of the post, etc.

     Then I just stopped and thought, "Why am I doing this to myself? Why am I doing this at all?"

     If you ask me why I started this blog, I'll tell you that I started it to have a place to put all of my thoughts. I'll tell you that I created it for all the other Catholic moms out there to work, because I often feel like I'm in the minority. I'll tell you that I created it for all the Catholic women out there who just don't feel like they're "good enough." I'll tell you that I created it so other women who work full-time and have husbands who work a ton don't feel alone. I'll tell you that I created it to share the humor and the struggles that are my life.

     But then when I sit back and I look at what I'm blogging about, the "voice" I'm blogging with, etc. I see something entirely different from those things. I see a blogger who is looking for someone to tell her she is not alone. I see a blogger who is looking for someone to sympathize with this chaotic life she lives in. I see a blogger whose life is so busy "in person" that she's looking for friends "in cyberspace." I see a blogger who wants validation from others. 

    Those aren't good things. I watch my Twitter follower list like a hawk, and my moods fluctuate based on the number of hits to my blog or the number of Tweets directed at me or including me. I'm judging my worth, and the value of what I have to say, on the input of others. That can't be good, can it?

    I took an hour tonight to really read over my blog, and to look at some of my favorite posts thus far. I think the ones I keep in the present (with occasional references to the past) are the ones I enjoy the most. The ones I think portray the "real me." 

    From here on out, the plan is to be real.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I'm really, really homesick.

To the point where an e-mail from one of my best friends this morning left me in tears.

I am so sick and tired of being 3000+ miles away from my extended family and best friends, yet here we are.

I haven't been home since Feb. of 2011. The plan was to go this Christmas, but everything is so expensive at the holidays--airfare, hotel, rental car, for a family of 4, it isn't cheap. So we said instead we'd go for my birthday in Feb. 2 years after we were last year. But now we're not sure THAT is happening, because the other day we found out our lease is up in Feb. and not Nov. like we thought.

We've entertained the idea of moving East, but I don't think it's going to happen. We'd have to start over at "the bottom of the pile" and work our way up again for EVERYTHING. Would it be worth it, just to be a little closer to friends/family? Am I idealizing and once we moved, it wouldn't be any better/different? I don't know.

D doesn't get it. I love him, but he doesn't get it. He moved away from home and didn't go back for eight years. EIGHT YEARS. I can't even fathom it!

It never seems to get any better. Missing my family and friends is like a constant dull ache.... I'm sad that my kids aren't really building relationships with my parents as much as I want them to. I'm sad that they only see our large extended family every 18 months to 2 years. At the same time, it's so hard to plunk down $2000 for a trip to NY whenever we want to see people.

The gray of this morning is not helping my mood....