Thursday, July 29, 2010

Music and Media Tastes

I was wondering what your music and media tastes say about you? I tend to think I am a very spiritual and contemplative person but movie wise I am all about action and sy fy and can't make it through a movie about romance or a feel good "we defeated all the odds" kinda picture. So, this led me to a couple of neat sites I was having fun with. I thought I'd share them.
At Psychology Today they have loads of fun self tests and this site had a nice "What your taste in music says about you" quiz

Monday, July 26, 2010

Money Is The Root Of All Evil or Poverty And Babies Don't Mix

I went back and forth on whether or not I would or should write this post. I am not sure why, maybe because it is so personal or because deep down I feel I should feel blessed and happy with what I have. Let me explain a little.....

Recently I have been thinking a lot about babies. It started at a clothing swap I went to with my friend Jamie. After everyone had picked up whatever clothes they needed for their little ones we were all looking at what was left. Jamie kept picking up all the little girl baby clothes and telling me I needed to have another baby, a girl this time. I was kinda like "yea, right...not gonna happen". Then I saw the fuzzy pink polar bear (my nickname for Dan is bear) feety jammies and it occurred to me, I did want that baby girl. (yes, I brought the jammies home with me)
I had always said I wanted boys. That they were easier and the fact that I am not a "girly girl" would leave me with nothing to offer a girl, but the truth is that I don't believe that. I also feel like somehow I am missing out on that special mother/daughter relationship. Yes, my Mom and I had some rough years but in the end we were the best of friends and I admired her and she was not a "girly girl" and boy or girl I just felt like we were meant to have just one more little one. I had learned so much in life and and from raising my other guys that I had a lot to offer. So, I thought, maybe we should try it. Dan is always saying how much he misses having babies around and that we needed more, but when I mentioned it in serious terms he said, of all things, No. The reason for the no is my reason for the post.

He said no because we can't afford the cost of more family members. Sadly, he is right. We live on one income, his. I started my stay at home mom life when Donovan was born @ 25 weeks and came home with an oxygen tank, 5 medicines and 5 doctors he had to visit. I realized then that there was nothing better than being the one there to raise your kids everyday and ,although we have had to be frugal, we could live on one income. I thought I would go back to work when Donovan started full days of school but then I found out I was pregnant with Carter,SURPRISE!

So, still we live on one income and although Dan works extremely hard the pay isn't great and living in Michigan we aren't likely to find better. We live frugally paycheck to paycheck, have not a penny in savings and very ,very little in retirement. Even though I would breastfeed there is just no money for cribs (Carter uses his as his toddler bed now), strollers, car seats, diapers, clothes, Dr. visits etc..

In most ways I can accept this. I made the decision to stay home with my kids and not get a job. I have wonderful kids and have had a wonderful time with them. Everyone is healthy and happy and I know I am so very very lucky and so are they for having a dedicated full time parent. In today's economy that isn't always an option. Even so, I just think about that little baby that will never be, we'll never get to laugh at the funny things they do ,never get to marvel over how beautiful they are or how fast they learn, never get to wholeheartedly love them to pieces....and all because of money. I can't help but be heartbroken over that ,but I am accepting it. I wont spend hardly any time wallowing in self pity. I will look at my sweet boys, be grateful for all that I have and enjoy my family completely. I think I will also post this for all the other money challenged individuals so they know they are not alone. We can collectively strike a blow against money by continuing to be wildly happy without hardly any of it :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Snapshot From The Zoo

Here is a pic from our recent zoo trip. It captures all their personalities: Carter hamming it up out front, Donovan with a sweet smile in the back and Trent with a look of preteen disdain.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh Food, Why Do You Have To Be So Tasty?

I have a serious's food. Not just eating food(although I do like that), but thinking about it, experimenting with it, looking at it. I wasn't always this happy about food . In fact it used to downright depress me. When I was in high school I weighed 100 pounds and worried about every single thing I put in my mouth. I can remember exercising off every snack I ate and laying in bed thinking there could be nothing worse than being overweight (boy, did life show me a thing or two). At some point I became less shallow and more busy and stressed. I had some kids, put on two boatloads of weight and started beating myself up about gaining weight. On top of that I had to deal with coming up with food to feed everyone every day. I would seriously have bags of frozen and canned gunk that I would plop in a microwave and serve to my poor unsuspecting victims. Ugh, I would be so sick of the same crappy processed food every day. I was not excited about the stress of dinner time and we ate a lot of fast food. My kids needed a chance to be healthy and not have the same love/hate relationship with food that I had. Things needed to change.
I have always been a creative type person and I have always loved eating and one day the Food Network and my boredom made it click.... you could be creative with food.....
BRILLIANT! I started out slow. Just following the recipes that were marked easy. Some of them were good but just needed a slight alteration to my own tastes. Soon changing a few things became standard and next thing I know I would have unique recipes popping into my head . Now I cook and create all the time. My DVR is stuffed with cooking shows and with our shift to organics, regional produce and a drastic cut to meat products in our home we are getting healthier too.....well, maybe healthier is a bit drastic. I still can't curb my baking habit :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I am one lucky lady

I have been thinking about my relationship with my better half Dan. I have had other relationships and been married before and was just thinking how completely different this relationship is than any other that came before. I have had ones where we had a lot in common but no sparks. I have had plenty of sparks but no common ground. I have suffered and probably my partners have too. Why sometimes do we try so hard to make a square peg fit into a round hole? Why does everything seem so right on paper but just goes nowhere in application? What makes a good relationship? I am no expert on relationships but I know why mine works and since it was on my mind I thought I would share.
One reason is we have a lot in common. We like the same things...discussing current events, rpg games, action movies, reading, camping. We have a real good base to start spending time together. We also have some interests the other doesn't exactly share but will participate in such as Dan being my "patient" to practice reiki on or me playing some card game that Dan slaughters me in repeatedly. It is nice that we will do these things for each other but I think the main way we bond is in doing things together we both really enjoy. It is effortless to have a really good time when you are doing something you are comfortable with and makes you happy.
Another reason is we truly support each other and it makes us feel happy to do so. I never feel put upon when Dan needs me to pick up the slack or take care of him. I genuinely am glad I get the chance to be useful to someone who gives me so much. I know he feels the same because he told me so recently. Our dishwasher broke and I hate doing dishes! So slowly I was falling behind on dishes. I would end up with these enormous piles of dishes that I would have to finally deal with only for them to pile up again in short order. Well, I was talking about this endless cycle when Dan said he would help me do them. I said that I feel bad that he would have to help me do what is by rights my "job". It isn't like he is bringing home portfolio reporting work from work and asking if I would chip in. He just said "Oh, don't ever worry about that. I like helping you out" and you know what I believe him cause I feel the same way about helping him.
Also, I find him adorable! After all this time I am still so glad to see his cute face come through that door. I still get all a flutter when he hugs me...and he still can make me giggle with his compliments. I actually do a happy dance when he gets vacation time off work. I don't just deeply love this man I genuinely like him as a person.
Probably the most important of all is we make each other laugh. I mean really really laugh. We have any number of running inside jokes and the same slightly dark, slightly off sense of humor. Dan is the king of the witty one liner, while I can see the joke in the ridiculousness of it all. Just tonight Dan and I were watching something on TV where the hero was going to sacrifice his life to fly a bomb away from innocent people. He wants to tell his daughter goodbye so he calls her and tells her he will be flying this bomb away from the city and she is crying and asks "but how are you going to get off the plane?" and Dan says in his straight faced monotone way "The bomb. It's going to blow me out of the plane. That's how I'll get out. Wasn't she even listening?" He is always making me laugh and when I am laughing the whole world seems more manageable.
I spent many years in relationships that didn't work. I tried so hard to make them fit and repair the damage so they would be great. It turns out when it's right it isn't hard. It doesn't feel like work cause you are enjoying all the moments. I know people say relationships take a lot of work and probably they do but when it's right that work feels to me a lot like love and I can get on board with that anytime!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wow has it been that long.....

Summer time brings so much to do! BBQ's , walks, bike rides, zoo trips, gardening.... So much fun, fun, fun!

So everyone made it out of school alive and mostly unscathed (Trent has summer school). We haven't picked up any summer sports so we have a nice flexible schedule. Trent has been spending a lot of time with his papa Dave who accurately described Trent as tons of fun and expensive :) Trent is all kinds of crazy over fingerboarding...which is skateboarding on tiny skateboards with your fingers. He talked everyone into early birthday gifts and put together a whole little mini skate park. His fingers sure are getting a work out. Trent has been swimming (I will have to post a picture of this kid's ridiculous tan) skateboarding and bike riding his heart out

Donovan went to spend a week with his Dad who had a health scare and ended up in the hospital for a week or so. His Dad said he was super helpful while he was visiting and sweet as always. For the most part Donovan has been spending most of his summer days with his friend Stephen (at one point I asked if he was just gonna move into their house) and had his first official sleepover. They spend a lot of time at Stephen's to bypass my allotted video game time rule :) Also, his papa Dave got him a bike and we like riding up to the library, store or their favorite Toys' R' Us.

And Carter...what a character.He loves going to the zoo, playing trains, all things Toy Story (the only thing I have ever seen him watch on the t.v). He plays make believe with little figures giving them their own little stories. He absolutely loves bikes, skateboards and will talk your ear off about blue scoots (scooters). He has his own little 2 wheeler with training wheels on it, although he has to ride on the back of Daddy's bike when we go for bike rides. He likes to bake with me and knows the names of almost all the kitchen tools and wares including all of the mixer attachments. He will go and get the dough hook if I say we are making little bug!

I will post more summer fun pics when I get them into the puter. Hope everyone out there is well and having as much fun as we are!