Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Did You Know........Part I

Here are a few random things about myself that my friends and family may not know (or care, HA!) - Not sure if anyone else is as quirky (or "crazy") as I am!
    I am extremely over-the-top claustrophobic. I am so over-the-top that sometimes I get claustrophobic being inside my own body!

    image from www.toonvectors.com
    I hate to sweat; it's disgusting and makes me want to crawl out of my skin.

    I hate going to the movies. I can't sit still for that long, I don't like sitting with crowds of loud and sometimes smelly people; I always get stuck sitting behind a tall person, near a loud child, or near loud and obnoxious people; and I can't stand the volume.

     image from www.article.wn.com

    I cannot stand when another person's feet touch mine {shudder}.
    I can't stand spit and drool whether from babies or old people....it severely grosses me out.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday's Favorite Fives!!

Good afternoon everyone! I'm happy to be back to blogging. For awhile, I was posting here and there and feeling kind of “dry” in my writing as well as comparing my blog/writing to others. I was feeling a little “blah” about that but thanks to some encouragement by my friend Faith, I'm back and loving it!! Please hop over to her blog at http://goldintheclouds-faith.blogspot.com/

I'm linking up over at Susanne's with other women who share 5 faves/blessings from the past week.  Here are my favorites for the week!! 

Last Sunday (hey, I count that day as part of “this past week”) my 16 yr old stepdaughter ran the 15k in the Utica Boilermaker. This was her first time running and she did awesome! She ran it in 74:13. She has been on the High School track team for 2 years, running both indoor and outdoor track, and is very well trained. I am very proud of her!

This week we had cooler NY weather and I was thankful for that (a LITTLE cooler...not much). The mornings were more tolerable (it gets very hot and muggy in my old house) and the evening walks with my dogs were definitely more tolerable! I could take 70's with sun the entire summer with maybe one week of 80's and I would be very happy.

This week I took out book #5 of The Walk series by Richard Paul Evanns. I had read #'s 1-4 and have been (im)patiently waiting for the final book of this series. I took the book out of the library on Wednesday evening. I was finished reading it by Thursday. Best series EVER!!! I will be writing a blog post about this one for sure. If you haven't read it....DO IT!!

Tonight my husband and I are taking my stepdaughter out to dinner and then later watching local fireworks. The dinner is to celebrate her running last Sunday and the fireworks are to top the evening off. Of course in between dinner and fireworks I plan on getting some sort of yummy caffeinated beverage!!

Tomorrow my husband and I are heading to our friends' house for a family cookout. We are like family so they are including us. The hostess is one of my four best friends and one of her sisters (who is attending) is another of my best friends. I've known the family since I was a small child so I look forward to hanging out with them (minus one sister and her husband and daughter who won't be there).

Happy weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Morning Without Coffee

Sometimes you run out of coffee. It just happens!!
image from google images

Today was one of those days. Now, I am not a tea drinker. I despise tea and the only time I ever drink tea is if I am sick or have a sore throat. So this morning, when I realized I had no coffee, I still turned the tea down. No thank you!!

There was a container of instant coffee in the cupboard, as my husband sometimes likes to have one. However, I just can't seem to get it to taste good so I usually stay away from the instant. This morning I tried to make an instant and I all but spit it out. So much for that.

Not having coffee doesn't have to be the end of the world....it really doesn't!  But when you don't have morning coffee in your system, every little thing seems really, really big!

Here are just a few little “blahs” from my morning....without coffee!

~ My oatmeal overflowed in the bowl (um, I nooked it instead of making it on the stove)

~ Baby spit up all over my foot.  Awesome.

~ I opened a yogurt container and the top sprayed yogurt all over my cute pink shirt (I am still wearing that shirt...hey, I'm bound to get spit up on again)

~ Thomas the Tank Engine VCR tape got caught in the VCR and the tape ripped. I don't like Thomas anyway.

~ And last, but certainly not least, I sent my stepdaughter a text that was meant for my best friend. NOT a big deal but it was about wine, so............

Now, are any of these things really tragic? Nah. Was it the end of the world? Nope! But the point is, when you don't have coffee in the morning, you are BOUND to have a rough start to your day.

The day got better when one of the daycare moms brought me a yummy hot, blueberry coffee from Dunkin Donuts when she picked up her daughter at 12:30pm. So the rest of the afternoon can go well!
 image from dunkindonuts.com

Tonight I am going to the store and buying 6 (count them....SIX) containers of coffee. From this day forward, I will never run out of coffee again!!!

 image from google images

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Against the Grain

About 4 or 5 years ago, my grandmother bought me a small African Violet plant for Mother's Day.  I was appreciative, as I had never had any plant in my life, except for rose bushes. However, I wasn't sure how I would do with keeping this plant alive.

I did quite well, indeed.  

Within a year, I had to re-pot that little plant TWICE and soon after was told I should separate the plant to make a few smaller plants.  Well, how skeptical was I about that?  Very.  But it worked.  I separated the plant and I gave one to a good friend of mine (who, by the way, still has hers and it is very large). 

Within another year, I had to re-pot and separate again.
Several years later, I have 5 beautiful African Violet plants.

How did I do this?  Do I have a "green thumb?".  Hm...well, the answer is simple.

I went "against the grain".

When I first got this little plant, I was told not to leave the plant in direct sunlight, not to water from the top.  Guess what?  I have mine sitting on my kitchen windowsill in direct sunlight for most of the day and I water from the top.  And they thrive.  I do rotate them throughout the day so the leaves don't burn and I'm careful not to let the water touch the leaves.  But what I've been doing goes against what "they" say.

Also - my grandma gave me her African Violet plant to "revive", as somehow she had killed it.  I brought it back to life and it is gorgeous.

So my advice to you?  If "they" tell you to do certain things with plants and it doesn't seem to be working?  Do the opposite (well, unless that involves never watering them...don't do that).  Go against the grain.

I did, and I'm a happy woman.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Who Am I

I am a stepmother

I am a stepmom of 2 great kids (now 15 and 20). However, since I've been married, I have heard from many cold-hearted people that I'm not a mom because my stepkids don't live with us. Their mother is alive and she has full custody but we have always gotten them on weekends, holidays, school breaks, etc. They have always had their own rooms in our house, with their own things.

Mother's Day has always been awkward for me because of how people have treated me. One woman once said to me “Oh honey, you're not a mother” and therefore, I did not get a flower in church as all the other mothers did on Mother's Day.

No, I have never given birth, I have never adopted, and my stepkids don't live with us. But I am a stepmom nonetheless, and that counts for something.

I love my stepkids. I worry about them, pray for them, help them, sacrifice for them and help my husband raise them the best that I know how. It's not an easy road but I've done my best. They're great kids and I feel lucky to have them in my life. I think being a stepmom is harder than anything, whether you have custody or not! It's not an easy role.

Before my husband and I were married, his ex wife said to me “Love them as if they were your own because you're their mom when they are with you”.....WRONG! I am their “mom” whether they're with me or not.

So on this Mother's Day, I give a huge shout-out HOORAY to all the MOMS out there......that means stepmoms, people who only have pets and call them their “fur babies”, aunts, sisters, grandmothers, foster parents, dads who have had to be both dad and mom....the list could go on.

Happy Mother's Day to ALL WOMEN who have cared for a child, or children, whether you have custody or not. You play a huge important role in that child's life, don't let anyone tell you differently.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

For My Mother

I have known, and know, a lot of good mothers. But I have to say, mine is one of the best. Since my sister and I were born, my mother has done nothing but love us, worry about us, and make sacrifices for us. Sure, we have our up-and-down moments but every relationship does. But when it all boils down, my mother is one of the most unselfish women I know. 

 Mom at Lake George

My mother would give her last dime to my sister or myself

My mother would give us the last pea on her dinner plate if we were still hungry

My mother always welcomed our friends, and boyfriends, into our home

My mother drove down to my house late at night, in her pajamas, to stay overnight and comfort me after my grandfather passed away, just because I asked her to

My mother took me in time after time when I moved out and failed and had to have a place to live...again

My mother never said “I told you so” when my sister and I screwed up

My mother made sure my sister and I had fun growing up but we also had discipline

 Sister Leah, mom and myself when were were little

My mother continues to give of herself to this day. Whether dropping off a surprise pick-me-up, or care package, or “are you ok” text (because for some reason no matter how far away we are from each other, she always seems to know when I am not having a good day or am “off”).

My mother is unselfish with giving, whether it be money or groceries or her time, and she is that way with everyone.  She loves to make people at work laugh; she takes care of my widowed grandmother; she is always there when I need her, always there if her sisters need her and always there for her friends.

So this Mother's Day, I would like to say thank you to my mother. Thank you for giving, loving, caring, sharing, laughing and crying with me...for me....because of me. Thank you for giving me life and raising me in a Christian home, loving God, taking me to church and Sunday School.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Day in My Shoes

Often, I feel, we as humans judge one another based on what we think the other does at work. I have a home daycare and I'm used to the judgmental comments, but I don't like them.

Do you know what my day is like?
Do you know what I do?

I don't sit back and eat bonbons and watch soap operas

I don't stick the kids in front of the television all day while I'm on my computer

I don't do the things that a lot of people think I do

Yes, there are some days (ie, rainy or snowy) where we watch a movie and maybe a few cartoons, have an indoor picnic and just act lazy. Is that so wrong? Don't judge me by that.

This is what I do. Or rather, my husband and I do, as he is currently my partner in this daycare.

Our day starts at 6am as we walk the dogs early and eat breakfast before preparing for kids' arrival (as early as 7:10am).

Husband vacuums while I stack up diapers and other needs for the day

Kids arrive, coffee time (for me) and free play and a show/movie (for them)

The rest of the day consists of:
Diaper changes
Clothing changes (spit up, poop blowouts)
Temper tantrums
Potty breaks
Potty training
Outdoor play (whether permitting)
Story time
Circle time
Hugs, kisses to boo-boos and assurances
Breaking up arguments
Teaching letters, numbers, colors and shapes
Teaching to share and take turns
Crafts (though not too often, I am terrible at crafts!)

To name a few!!

Our day doesn't end when the last child leaves. Our day ends when - after the last child leaves - toys are picked up, furniture and toys are wiped down (clean), and my numbers are logged for the day (how many kids, how many meals, etc...for tax purposes).

So before you go judging a home daycare owner/worker, step in their shoes. It's not all fun and games. I love my kids. I don't take on a lot because I want each of them to get the attention that they deserve.

I am not the child's parent and don't expect to be asked to do parental duties but I do treat the kids as if they were my own. Their parents drop them off at our house while they are working or in school and expect my husband and I to show them the love and attention that they would get if they could be home with the kids themselves.

It's not easy watching other people's kids all day, 9-10 hours a day, especially when each parent has their own parenting style. But we do our best.

Walk in our shoes for one day. Walk in the shoes of a school teacher for one day. Or a secretary. Or a Ward Clerk or Paralegal OR stay-at-home mom! Don't judge based on stereotype or what you think other people are doing.

image from www.liveluvcreaate.com