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Posts Tagged ‘family’


I consider the microwave mommy’s little helper.  Living with three children and a messy husband, my microwave is a very big helper.  I never realized how much I rely on the microwave until I didn’t have one anymore.  Last Friday our microwave finally left this world for a better place.  It had been threatening retirement for a long time.  So, when it finally cashed in its 401k, I learned a thing or two about the revered microwave.

At first, I thought that it was no big deal.  I could manage for a little while without one.  Hey, I’ve done it before and I could do it again.  Little did I know, I rely on that stupid little nuclear appliance more than I thought.  Over the weekend, I found out just how much I really do need a microwave in my life.

Saturday morning breakfast was easy.  Some cereal in a bowl, add some milk and a spoon and voila…breakfast is served.  However, lunchtime was a different story.  With three children, all wanting something different at three different times, lunchtime was a nightmare.

My youngest son, Austin, wanted Chef Boyardee spaghetti and meatballs.  Okay, I can handle that.  I removed the plastic top on the single serving can, peeled back the tin top, replaced the plastic lid, and proceeded to head toward the microwave.

“Uh, mom, it’s not working.  Remember?”

“Oh yeah, I forgot.”

So, I opened the cabinet next to the stove, removed a saucepan and dumped the spaghetti and meatballs into the pan.  As I began to warm up my sons’ lunch, I thought about all the extra dishes that I’d have to do.

“This isn’t fair,” I thought.

Instead of having to wash one fork, now I have to wash a fork, a pan, and a mixing spoon.  I was starting to miss my microwave.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook meals for my family.  But, making so many meals for a family on the go isn’t easy.  Sometimes, I just need a little help.

My oldest son was on a tight schedule.  He wasn’t going to be home to eat lunch with his brother.  He had to go to wrestling practice.  So, by the time he returned home, he wasn’t very hungry.  He just wanted some soup for lunch, nothing too heavy.  Normally, I would put the soup in a bowl and pop it in the microwave and nuke it until it’s hot.  Not being able to do that anymore, I went to the sink and washed the saucepan from before.  When his soup was hot, I ladled it into a bowl for him and placed it on the table.  Now, I had used a saucepan twice, a mixing spoon, a ladle, a bowl, a fork, and a spoon.

Then, my husband woke from his long winter nap searching for food.  He foraged through the fridge and cabinets finally deciding on leftover chili.  While he so generously heated up his own lunch, I sat by and watched the dishes pile up in the sink.  He didn’t wash the saucepan that I had used.  He pushed that one to the back burner of the stove and replaced it with a shiny, clean pot.  When he had finished creating his masterpiece of a mess, he sat down and slurped and smacked his lips until there was no more chili left in his bowl.  He then proceeded to abandon his dirty dishes in the sink to await my arrival.  By this time, I wanted to scream and run away from home. Did I mention the three cups that were used?  Add those to the pile and it’s a load of unnecessary dishes that I have to wash.

Last on the list was my daughter.  She had just walked in the door from a rough morning of shopping with her girlfriends.  She decided that she was going to make herself grilled cheese sandwiches and soup.  Need I say that she didn’t wash any dishes either?  Probably not.  I’m sure, by now, you’ve come to that conclusion.  Instead, she pulled out the griddle and made herself two grilled cheese sandwiches and some tomato soup.  In her wake, she left the kitchen an even bigger mess than it was before.  Between the overflowing sink full of dishes, griddle on the stove, and crumbs everywhere, my house was slowly becoming a disaster area.

By this time, I was reluctant to feed myself.  Needless to say, I was really missing my microwave.  It made things so much simpler.  This battle went on all weekend and into the first part of this week.  I found myself looking at the empty spot where “Sir Nukes a-lot” used to sit and feeling sad.  I finally broke down and bought a new microwave.  What can I say, I’m weak.  I don’t like doing all those needless dishes.  And, believe me, there was at least three sink loads of dishes per day for six days.  The microwave is a godsend in my house.  I’ve come pretty close to worshiping the nuke god.  I’m sure that you can sympathize with me or at least understand why I feel this way.

With all the extra, needless cleaning that I did this past week, I pray to God that no other parent has to go through what I have gone through! LOL  The microwave may not be a necessity to some people.  But, in my house, I cannot live without it.  For my sanity, and the sake of my children, the microwave is a must have appliance.

Like my husband says, “if mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy.”  Now that I have a new microwave, mama’s definitely happy again.  So, my family can rest easy for a while.

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Supper time!

You can click on any picture for a larger view.

Tonight, my Congo African Grey parrot, Cricket, decided that she didn’t want her usual supper of mixed veggies and pellets.  She wanted to have what we were having.

Butter bread thief

So, she went and took it for herself.  My daughter, Casey, was eating her chili and butter bread while chatting with her friends on Facebook.

Cricket started out with butter bread.  She climbed down her cage

Sharing with Caseyand onto the coffee table by the computer.  Where, incidentally, my daughter had placed her butter bread.  She nonchalantly helped herself to the bread and kept going back for more.  However, she did share with my

Cricket waves when she wants food.  She even says, "wave."daughter, Casey.  After all, she is a very polite bird.  She is so polite that she waves when she wants her food.

I’ve raised my birds and children to mind

Chili, YUMMY!their manners.  She seems to be doing quite well.  Once the two had finished with their butter bread, they started in on their chili.  Cricket seemed

to really like it.  Props to my hubby who made it.  I’m not sure who got more, Cricket or my daughter. lol  At one point, Cricket had a whole beakful of

Cricket kisses Casey

chili.  After they finished with their supper, Cricket thanked Casey and gave her a kiss.  It was a sight to see, that’s for sure.  Nothing is better than sharing a great meal with a good friend.

Crickets Favorite Book

After supper, Cricket thought that she’d relax with a good book.  Alex, from the Alex Foundation, has been her crush for quite some time.  I don’t have the heart to tell her that Alex died many years ago.   So, I let her read her book and dream of Alex.Cricket reading Alex & Me ~ by Dr. Irene Pepperberg She just seems so content.

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Being a mom of four children is never easy. Heck, being a mom in general isn’t easy. But, being a mom with a chronic illness is the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to deal with. I have struggled with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome on a daily basis for the past twenty-six years. And, I absolutely refuse to let it get the best of me.

There is never enough time or money to do what I want to do for my family. If I’m sick or in excruciating pain, I can’t just stop being a mom until I feel better. There are times when I wish that I could do just that; put the world on pause. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t stop so that I can recuperate. Whether I like it or not, the world keeps turning, time keeps marching on, and I’m still a mom. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom. I just wish that I could be a better, more active, healthy mom for my childrens’ sake.

Two of my children went to their fathers’ for the Christmas holiday. That left me with only my 11 year-old son, Austin. These are the times when I get to spend extra bonding time with him. I find it very frustrating when I’m not feeling well when I have all this special time to spend with him. That’s the way it has been for me this holiday season. However, I try to find the rewards in the mess that I call my life. Today, I found a reward in spending time with my son.

This morning I woke up to a body full of pain. With much effort, I opened my eyes, sat up in bed, and moaned my frustration to the world.
“Why can’t there be a cure for Fibromyalgia,” I whined to myself.
“What? You okay baby?” asked my husband gently touching my back.
“Yeah, honey, I’m fine,” I lied.

My husband has been with me for the past three years. He treats all four of my children like they were his own. He knows all about my medical issues. He is so attentive to my needs and very seldom does he complain about my condition. As a matter of fact, with sleepy eyes and less than four hours of sleep, he sat up in bed and gently rubbed my back. God definitely gave me a gift when he sent my husband. When he had exhausted himself back to sleep, I slid off the bed and stumbled to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee.

My husband and I had just given the children the wii video game system. Austin was so excited that he wanted to share the experience with little ol’ mom. God, I love that kid!
“Mom! Mom, you gotta’ play this with me! I bet I can beat you in bowling.”

You’d think that something so simple as playing a video game would be easy for anyone. Unfortunately, in the pain that I was in, I just couldn’t make my muscles move without pain searing through my body.
“Honey, mommy’s in a lot of pain. You’ll have to wait a little while before I can do anything, okay?”
“Okay mom,” he replied. “I’ll just practice until you’re ready,” he said with a smile.

I really, really wanted to play the game with him. I love spending time with my children. Even if it is just playing a game with them, it means so much to them and to me. I knew that it was going to take at least thirty minutes before my muscle relaxers kicked in and I began to feel some sense of relief from my pain.

To my delight and Austin’s, a half hour went by quite quickly. My muscles weren’t so stiff and the pain had subsided. I then challenged him to a bowling game. With each frame, we rooted for each other and high-fived each other until we were both exhausted. We had so much fun! He won, of course. It may seem silly to be excited about playing a video game with your child. But, to me, it’s one of the most wonderful things that I can do with my kids.

As I sit here now, typing this memory, my pain has returned with a vengeance. I am ready for another muscle relaxer and my pillow-top bed. But, I will never forget the joy that I saw on my sons’ face as wii spent time together.


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I recently visited the Old Fashioned Living website. This website is a compilation of crafts, gardening advice, family activities, genealogy tips, and ideas for teaching your kids and grandkids about the generations that came before them.

I was very inspired by one of their articles written by Dionna Sanchez entitled, Leaving Legacies. In the article, Dionna tells us about a wonderful legacy that her mom left her and that she will be leaving her children.

[Quote] “I am so thankful to have a precious gift that my mom gave me – one that I am now doing for my own children. She kept journals for me and my sister.”[Quote]

You can read the full article on the Old Fashioned Living website here:Leaving Legacies

I was so inspired by this article that I decided to write one for each of my four children. My oldest daughter has already moved out of the house. But, that doesn’t mean that I can’t write one for her just the same. I think that I’ll start hers and keep writing until she becomes a mother. Maybe I’ll give it to her when she has her first child. Then, she can start one for her child(ren).

What’s a better gift than leaving your children with wonderful and cherished memories through the eyes of their own loving parent? I encourage everyone to try this. Mothers, fathers, and grandparents can all do this and leave their loved ones with their own legacy.
You can find more about Dionna Sanchez on her website, Emphasis On Moms

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Raising children today means setting boundaries. With the ever-changing world, not everyone has the same morals. Some parents aren’t concerned with their childs’ welfare. As long as their child “stays out of their hair”, they couldn’t care less what their child is doing or where he or she is going. Other parents, on the other hand, are concerned with what their child is doing and will read this and take this information to heart. Those parents who don’t use discipline or aren’t worried about their children most likely will not read this.


I have found that setting boundaries can help ease some of the problems that most parents face. I’m a mom of four children; two boys ages 11 & 12 and two girls ages 17 & 19. No child is perfect. In the same respect, no parent is perfect. The parent/child relationship is always changing and growing. Each child is different. Therefore, it is very important to set boundaries for each child according to his/her age and maturity. For example, my 17 year-old daughter has a 10:00 curfew on school nights. She actually set this boundary for herself. She knows that she must get up early to prepare for school. In setting this boundary for herself, she shows her maturity level. My boys, on the other hand, would stay up until the wee hours of the morning. Ergo, their bedtime boundaries must be set for them.


Here are some simple rules to go by when setting boundaries for your children.
1. Listen and compromise: Listen to your children. Find out what they want. Your child may want to do their homework at a later time in the day because they are so overwhelmed right after school that they just need a break. I did this with my boys. I used to make them do their homework right after school. I used to fight tooth and nail with them on this issue. One day, I sat down and actually listened to what they wanted. To my surprise, they made sense! After listening to them, we compromised. Now, when they come home from school, they have play time or TV time for two hours. Every day at 4:30 they know to sit down and do their homework. No fights, no tantrums (from them or myself), and no excuses! NO PROBLEM! It’s wonderful.

2. Set specific rules: There are some rules that you can’t or won’t compromise with them. Therefore, you need to be specific. If you tell your daughter to be home by 10:00, then she should be home by 10:00 right? Okay, what if she’s “home” but hanging outside with friends until 11:00? You weren’t specific. Make sure that you tell her, “be home and in the house by 10:00 tonight. What happens, God forbid, if you find drugs in your teenagers’ room? What do you tell him/her? “I don’t ever want to see drugs in this house again.” That is just telling your child to go ahead and do drugs just don’t bring into the house. This subject definitely needs more attention from professionals. This was only used as an example of being specific.

3. Trust them: From an early age, your children need to learn that they can trust you. In the same manner, you need to learn to trust your child(ren). Allow them room to make mistakes and then learn from them. Let them show you that they can be home at a certain hour. If they earn that trust from you, reward them. I can’t stress how important it is to reward your children for good behavior! Most children hear the negative side. Don’t say, “You made it home on time but…” Make sure that you thank them for being home on time. If there is another issue at hand, wait until later to deal with the issue. Give them time to bask in the glory of doing something right and gaining your trust.

4. Be consistent: If you tell your child(ren) that they are grounded, stick to it! Don’t let them cajole you into releasing them from being grounded early.

• No, means no!
• Don’t give in!
• Stick with it!
• Let them learn!


If you are always letting them talk you into going somewhere when they’re grounded or you’ve already said no, then you lose! Chalk one up for your child and zero for you. It can be a long, hard mountain to climb when you stick with your first answer. Your child will try to make you feel guilty or give you the silent treatment as punishment for sticking it out. Please, please, please DO NOT give in. This is the only way that your child will understand that your word is golden.


The same goes for your positive words and deeds. If you promise to take your child to the movies, then do it! If something so totally unavoidable comes up, I’m sure that they’ll understand. Be honest with them and explain the problem. Then work out a compromise to follow through with your promise. If you’re inconsistent all the time, your child will know this. He/she will use this against you to get what they want.

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The fun of being a parent is finding humor in the things that drive you crazy.

There are fourteen doors in my house. There’s the front door, back door, four bedroom doors, two bathroom doors, and six closet doors. With that many doors in the house, I don’t understand how my boys always zone in on which door that I’m behind. Whenever they see a closed door, they feel that it’s necessary to knock on it. I am partly to blame for this. I have always tried to teach my children proper manners. That includes knocking on a door and waiting for a response before trying to open the door. However, if I close a door that usually means that I need my privacy. It doesn’t seem to matter which door it is, there always comes a knock on the door before I’ve decided to open it myself.
If I’m in the bathroom, with the door closed, then I definitely want my privacy. It’s like these kids are drawn by some magnetic field to a closed door but repelled by an open door. Every time that I go into the bathroom to do my business, my business and nobody else’s business, there’s a knock at the door. There must be some mathematical equation for this. Closed door + mom= knock, knock, knock. For the last twelve years, I have not been able to go to the bathroom in peace.
Today, I entered the bathroom hoping, just once in my life, for two minutes of privacy. Lo and behold, what do my ears hear? Knock, knock, knock.
“What,” I yell from my throne.
“Mom, are you going to the bathroom,” asked Austin.
“No, I’m visiting with the Pope,” is my reply. “Of course I’m going to the bathroom. Why what do you want?”
“Never mind.”
“You mean to tell me that you couldn’t wait two minutes to tell me never mind,” I grumbled opening the door.
It’s always something that could have waited just two tiny minutes until I opened the darn door. The question or comment never comes in the form of a dire emergency. God forbid they have to wait two minutes, let alone two seconds, to aggravate me.
Earlier today, I went outside to smoke a cigarette and to get a few minutes of peace and quiet. Ha, that didn’t work. As I took the first drag of my cigarette and pondered what my next task of the day would be, my oldest son, Christian, knocked on the inside of the back door and peered out the window at me. With phone in hand, he opened the door letting the freezing cold winter air into the house and proceeded to ask me what his fathers’ phone number was.
“I don’t know! What do I look like, a phone book?” I asked with a scowl on my face.
I set my cigarette down on the railing and went in to find his dads’ phone number. He had called his dad several times within the last two days. It shouldn’t be that hard to find the number already in the phone. I then proceeded to show him how to gently put his finger on the redial button and keep pressing it until the area code for New Jersey came up. After all, that’s about the only number from New Jersey that is dialed on our phone. He kept pushing the redial until he saw his dads’ number. With a smile and a press of the talk button, he had learned something new. He was totally dumbfounded by his new found knowledge.
I left him to his conversation and went back outside to finish my cigarette. When I came back in, I had to dodge the dust balls floating across the floor as my husband chased them with a broom. Oh my God, he’s sweeping! Yes world, I said sweeping and not sleeping. Now that’s a first. It’s really nice of him to sweep even though I’ll have to go behind him and redo it after he goes to work. After all, he is a man. I went to my room and shut the door. Maybe this time I can get some quiet time. Usually, when I have my bedroom door shut that means I’m either sleeping or I just want to be left alone. As soon as I sat down on my bed, there came a knock on the door.
“What,” I yelled.
“Can I come in,” asked Christian.
“Yes.”
I waited for him to open the door but he didn’t. I guess it wasn’t that important. I shrugged my shoulders and lay down on my bed. Knock, knock, knock.
“What now?”
“Can I come in?”
“Yes! I told you two minutes ago that you could come in,” I screamed.
“Sorry, I didn’t hear you,” he said opening the door.
“What do you want?”
“I just wanted to let you know that dad didn’t answer the phone,” he informed me.
“And you’re telling me this why,” I asked shaking my head.
“Cuz I wanted to let you know that I’m waiting for dad to call me back,” he replied sweetly.
Will there ever be a time, I wonder, when I can relax behind a closed door? Perhaps I need to start hiding out in the closets. I have yet to see the boys knocking on a closet door.

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I have four children. So, sometimes it gets really crazy around my house. While my 17 year-old is yelling at her younger brothers, her brothers (ages 11 & 12) play fighting and screaming back at her, messes everywhere, I sit and suffer with an excruciating headache and praying for a break.

If you have days like this, be assured that it does get worse. But, then again, it does get better. One of the best remedies for a crazy day in my house is a laughter break. After all, they say that laughter is the best medicine.

My laughter break came to me today in the form of an e-book entitled, The Kids Are Driving Me Crazy! by Lisa Barker. Lisa Barker is known as “The Jelly Mom” from the humorous Jelly Mom column which can be found at:

JellyMom.com

This e-book is an excerpt from her book Just Because Your Kids Drive You Insane… Doesn’t Mean You Are A Bad Parent!. The e-book cover humorous subjects about toddlers, older children ,going out in public with your kids, kids showing you who the boss is, and so much more.

I highly recommend this book to parents, grandparents, and caretakers so they can enjoy their “laughter break.” Get the free e-book and check out the Jelly Mom Column and more of Lisa’s books.

~Get the free e-book here~

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