Orphaned photos

So, I was reading Post Secrets today and they had a montage in there from I Found Your Camera. I found it very intriguing.

I went through the entire montage of photos that they had collected from readers either in camera form, actual photo form or from a memory card/stick watching for someone I might know or recognize. I actually lost an entire roll of film back when I was 20 (yes, roll, I'm from the paleozoic era). I had sent the photos in from when was crowned Genesee County queen and Rite Aid gave me the wrong photos. I took the other person's back and they took all my info with my hopes of getting my pics back to me. That never happened. I cried. I have no pics from that amazing experience and I'm sure there would have been some great pics of Chuck and I on it, considering that was the summer we started dating. (and I got my face tap-danced on by a horse just 2 days before the queen competition). But, alas, there were no photos of me on the montage; nor anyone I knew.

But beyond the initial cause of trying to reunite some friends or acquaintances with their orphaned photos, I really enjoyed the montage for another reason. I think I'm slightly voyeuristic. Actually, I know I'm an exhibitionist in a lot of ways, but I also enjoy and find other's lives so interesting. It was neat to go through those pics and see far off places I may never see and experiences (like Mardi Gras) that I might never experience. I have no idea who these people are...whether they are a complete asshole or a super sweet person...and it doesn't matter. Because they can be whoever you need them to be at that time.

I think that's why I like blogging so much. I can get a glimpse into others lives while I'm giving a glimpse into my own.


Do you know what today is?

Friday? Yep and while I'm super excited about that, that's not the most important thing about today.

My little bro's 28th birthday? Yep. But again, nothing that major for me. Except it does make me feel old.

2 days before Matt's party? That's true too. And that helps me not feel so old anymore, since he's still way older than me. Hehehehe

The important happening today is the grudge rematch between the Potterville Wombats (Chuck's loser AFEL team) and the Trojan Horses (my undefeated team. yes, I said it undefeated!) Why is this a grudge match? Because well, we're married and I'm competitive. Because this will be our 3rd match up against each other since preseason and I won the first two. I did just trade away my leading forward but I'm hopeful that my up and coming stars can lead the way.

I'm looking forward to getting the email from the commish (who also happens to be Matt) stating the scores are up. Woo boy. It's gonna be an interesting evening around here!


Teach girls some independence!

I don’t know if you know this or not, but it’s COLD here in Michigan. I’ve heard that it’s going to get into the single digits tonight with a wind chill factor of -11 degrees or so. Folks, that’s cold.

And sometimes, when it’s cold, older batteries in your vehicles don’t start. Theresa at Quack This just wrote about this subject today which reminded me of an instance a couple weeks ago that happened here at work.

It was about 5:30 pm and the Director (D) of the bureau came over with another employee (S) whom I know. D asked if there was anyone mechanically inclined because S’s car wouldn’t start and they thought it was probably the battery.

So, I ask if they have jumper cables in either of their vehicles. S stated that she did, in fact, have jumper cables (mine are in the van…I take the jeep to work). I said that I knew how to jump start a car and I’d do it for them, no problem.
This leads me to today’s thought. Neither of these women, one aged maybe 58 and the other about 28, knew how to jumpstart a car. D actually said that is why she pays for AAA and S stated that’s the reason she got married. Now, both may have been being facitious, but I think there may have been some truth into both of those statements. And on top of that, they were stunned to find out that I knew how to do it myself without asking one of the men in our unit to help.

Seriously? Anyone reading my blog…PLEASE teach your daughters (and sons for that matter!) some of the simple things to maintaining their vehicle. Things like:

Driving a stick shift. Yes, I realize that most of today’s vehicles are automatic but you never know when that skill might come in handy.

Changing the oil. Or for God’s sake at least knowing how to check the oil! I was with a friend in college and they didn’t know the difference between the where to check the oil and the windshield washer fluid. That also goes along with knowing where to put coolant into the engine at.

Changing a tire. There is not always going to be a man around to help. Hell, I had a flat tire one time and 2 cop cars went by me without even stopping to ask if they could help, so it’s not like you can rely on them either. Also, another good thing to know is how to check the tire pressure and about what the tire pressure should be at in your tires.

Jump-starting a car. How to hook up the jumper cables and get the car started but also the basics like make sure the car remains running for about 20-30 minutes so that it has a chance to recharge a bit.

Most people have a cell phone and the tow truck or husband or daddy is just a call away. But what if that cell phone battery is dead? Or you're out in the middle of nowhere? It's just good information to know, in my humble opinion.

Next up, the things boys need to know about home economics.


Blech! I hate being sick!

I'm so sick. Chuck is sick, I'm sick and now all three kids have runny noses and a slight cough. I hate February because this is the month that everyone in my house gets sick every single year. My kids see the dr. for their yearly checkup and then in February. It's like clockwork.

We had a three day weekend this weekend due to president's Day and we were sick. Fortunately the boys weren't so we explained to them that Momma and Daddy weren't feeling all that well and to please be good and they were! They played so amazingly well together. I commented them on it several times....it's important to catch them being good and praise them for that too, right?!

But because of that, I've also slacked on my daily blogging. I've also slacked on setting up my lineup for AFEL in order to kick Chuck's butt this Friday. Plus, everyone is offering me trades and my mind is so befuddled by snot, I can't think straight.

However, on a more positive note we have completed our weekend of seeing my sister-in-law so I'm excited about that. I have also made some major headway on my bedroom. See, this is the room that everything get thrown into when company is coming over. Bad thing is it never ever leaves. So our bedroom is piled high with clothes, toys, and clutter. So, I started working this weekend to take it back. And now, I need to go to Goodwill and drop off 3 garbage bags of stuff and one dresser from the boys' room. I'll be happy to be able to see the couch in there again!

I'm off to wipe up the snot monster that some call my daughter and go to the store to replace the bottles that Frodo chewed up during the night. That dog is going to find himself in a world of hurt if he keeps chewing everything in sight!

I'll leave you with a funny pic of E. She had gotten into one of her brother's markers and done some damage before we noticed she had it.

Try, try again.

Chuck and I have been together for nearly 11 years now.

In all that time, he has never mentioned my weight.

Until Saturday.

He was very gentle and non-judgemental about it. Which he probably knew he had to be in order to have me accept it at all. I lived a good portion of my life hearing I'm fat...I don't take kindly to that type of criticism. But his point came across that he's concerned for me and my health and my future. Or at least that's what I read into it, because that's what I'm concerned about as well.

It's just so damn hard to keep up the motivation!!

So, I try again. I try again for my husband and my family. And I don't quit trying.


Old pics of me.

So, I was going through my photobucket today looking for something. I found some old pics of me I scanned in and thought I'd share.

Here I am at about 3. I was wearing my daddy's shoes. I think I may have posted this one before.

This was my 3rd or 4th year of dance. So I was about 5 or 6. Zachary's age. I see a lot of me in him.
Age 11. This is just a year and half before I sold Bar, my quarter horse. Age 15. Chuck loves this picture of me. He might have it on his desk actually. It was a promo shot for some of my rabbit competitions.
Age 17. Coming Home dance. It should have been called coming out dance since those two guys were having sex with each other. Ah, the memories.
Age 22. Graduation from MSU with a bachelors of science in College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Major in Animal Science.

Age 24. My wedding day. I love this pic of me. Sorry for it's grainy quality...it was taken with a 1 mpx camera. Sign of the times, I guess.Age 24. Honeymoon in London. I was 5 1/2 months pregnant here. We waited until Christmas time to go on our honeymoon. We spent New Years Eve in London. Too bad I was preggo :(
And that comes up to almost today :)

Random thoughts. Part 1,453,328

Or something similar to that. Sometimes I just have a lot of thoughts running around in there that I have to get out.

* I seem to do things in threes. Like, I *always* sneeze in threes. I always seem to gravitate to the third bathroom stall (if there is one). I have 3 kids. I come from a family of 3 kids. I wonder if that has anything to do with my fascination with 3's.

*However, I do always eat my m & m's or skittles in 2's. So that shot that theory all to hell.

*My baby girl turned 9 months old on Monday and I totally forgot to take her picture. I always try to take pics on their monthly birthdays until 1 year old.

*Speaking of her...I think she's self-weaning. WAAAAH!!! I'm kinda sad to be seeing it go. She only nursed twice today. Once before we got out of bed and then once before I left for work. That makes me kinda sad.

*I'm excited to go to Matt's party next weekend. I gotta call the sitters and line them up though.

*As excited as I am for that...I'm exactly the opposite about my SIL coming down this weekend. Gah. My house is a disaster and I don't care what people say about "they come to see you, not the house" she will have some snide words to say about it under the guise of "well-meaning intentions".

*I'm doing o.k. on Mt. Dew. I have had like 3 in a week though. I'm finding I'm a LOT more tired without the dew.

*I can't wait to give E her Valentine's Day present. I hope it becomes her lovey because it's so cute!

* I bought 2 pairs of pants, 3 shirts and 5 pairs of panties for $42 last night offline. Including the shipping! Woo-hoo! Ah, I can't wait to have new panties again. The damn black dog has eaten almost all of mine.

*We put a lock on the bedroom door this past weekend. I'm stoked. Because I also went to a Pure Romance party this past weekend. A deaf PR party. I was able to use my sign language but it was eeryily quiet.

*I'm addicted to AFEL (Australian Footy Email League) Yep. I was discussing strategy with Chuck while I was showering today. Good thing I'm not playing him until next week. He thinks he's going to beat me. Hah!

*I have like no pictures from camp. I wish I had a digital in 1997. :( I tried to scan a copy of a picture of Chuck, me, Matt and a few other counselors but it's stuck to the glass in it's frame. We all look so young.

*Chuck is turning 40 this year. I gotta figure out something big. Maybe like a naked lady jumping out of a cake or something. That might be a little traumatic for the kids though.

*Ohhhhh! I was frequenting my cloth diaper board and there was a youtube movie on there about a woman in England who bf her daughter until EIGHT. OMG. EIGHT. Seriously, I know I'm sad about my 9 month old weaning and all, but I would *maybe* bf until 18 months. They actually filmed her bf'ing her girl. Seriously, I knew a girl who started her periods at nine...that's just bordering on mental unstable or something.

*I can't wait to get our newest dipe either...it's red dipe with a yellow biohazard symbol on the bum. Chuck designed it. Any big surprise there?

MLA...this one is for you.

It's your favorite freakish family...the Duggars!

ETA: Do you think they google themselves? I mean, I just googled my name to see what would pop up (only AFEL coach did) and I'm a nobody. If they googled themselves, I bet a gazillion thigns would come up because any mom's board I've ever been on has had a discussion about them, blogs discuss them all the time, as well as just the major networks. Hmm. I wonder how they take it. I guess they've put themselves out there in the limelight though so they've gotta expect the celebrity type status. I don't really care how many kids a family has...but they are just scary to me. I had a family back home growing up that was a traditional Catholic family complete with 13 kids, but they acted like kids, ya know? Okay, enough rambling.


World's Worst Mother

That should be my official title today.


4 month ago or so Zachary was complaining about his cheek hurting. Usually it would happen in the middle of the night or if he was already really upset. It's about the time we started on the meds and so we felt maybe it was a compulsive cheek-biting habit. I asked him several times to show me WHERE and he pointed to the inside of his cheek; I saw nothing there.

Well, today I was brushing his teeth for him, which I haven't done in ages. I mean he's almost 6 now...I didn't feel I needed to continue brushing his teeth for him. Zachary about jumped out of his skin, told me that it *really* hurts when brushing that tooth and then I saw blood. I started lecturing him about how he needed to make sure he brushed his back teeth better because the gums were bleeding and that's a good sign that he's not getting them good enough.

So, I took a look after he rinsed out his mouth. I was absolutely horrified and embarrassed and pained by what I saw.

Zachary's back molar is *completely* rotted out.

He had a filling put in that tooth about 2 years ago (yes, he was young) because they said that that tooth hadn't calcified properly and needed to have a filling to fill it in and keep the tooth the appropriate shape. Well this same tooth is now missing 1/2. In the middle of the tooth is red swollen gum. At first I thought something was stuck in there, like the bacon from breakfast. But nope.

Zachary said it doesn't hurt him on a normal basis. But he also doesn't chew on that side "because I can't think about the food, all I can think about is the tooth".

I feel horrible! I should have known this. I should have seen it before now. He hasn't been to the dentist in a year because we missed his last 6 month appt. I'm sure that the cheek pain was probably pain from an abcessed tooth and yet I wrote it off with everything else that was going on. It's amazing to me how high his pain tolerance must be because from the looks of the tooth...it must have been hurting him.

Tomorrow I'm calling the dentist for an emergency appointment. I don't know what they are going to do. Of all the things he inherited from me, why did he have to inherit my horrible teeth?


Memories....in the corner of my mind.

Do you have anything that evokes a conscience memory of someone, something or another place in time?

There are a couple of things that do this for me and its weird little things that make my memories come flooding back. What little of them I do have (side note: Chuck thinks it’s weird I have very few memories before I was 10’ish. Do you have early childhood memories? What’s the earliest strong memory you have?)

Dannon “Fruit-on-the-Bottom” yogurt. This is really what spawned this blog post because I actually bought some of this for the first time, well…ever. I always buy the Fit and Light ones because I *try* to be health conscience most of the time. But, this time I bought the full-flavored one for Elizabeth since I also try not to give my kids copious amounts of aspartame before they are 3 or so. (I don’t know why…I just don’t think it’s good for little bodies to have unnatural substances.) But back to the yogurt, when I was growing up I had a best friend named Catherine. As I was eating one of these yogurts today I was instantly reminded of her. It was like I was transformed back to 3rd grade and I’m sitting there at the cafeteria table with my Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox and she with her brown bag lunch. In her lunch she ALWAYS had a peanut butter banana sandwich (sometimes she’d have cold pizza), chips, 2 chocolate chip cookies and a Dannon Fruit-on-the-Bottom yogurt. Cath moved away when I turned 15 so even after all this time, I still have those memories. Brought on by yogurt.

I’m also very stimulated by smells. Ask Chuck. He thinks its hilarious how smell oriented I am in just about everything in my life. Each of my kids have their own “smell-spot” which is right behind their ears at their hairline. They have their own distinctive smell even though they use the same soap and shampoo. Chuck has a “smell-spot” too…in the same place and it, too, is unique to him.

One of the smells that triggers memories for me is the kids’ coconut shampoo. When I worked at camp, I used coconut shampoo. One day as Chuck and I are laying in bed he told me how much he loved the scent of my hair and that coconut was one of his favorite scents. From then on, I made sure that I always bought coconut shampoo for that whole summer. Everytime I smell the kids’ shampoo, it’s like I’m transported back in time and showering on a Saturday afternoon for my date night with Chuck in Arapahoe Lodge. I can smell the coconut now.

Songs can also create vivid pictures in my mind. On the way to work today, I was listening to hubby’s classic rock station (I’m normally a country or pop girl myself) and “Me and Bobby McGee” came on by Janis Joplin. I started to smile and sing along. I was totally picturing myself as a sophomore in college. Rooming with my best friend, Sandy, getting ready to out to the bar at 10:30 at night (OMG, that’s past my bedtime now!). We’d be dancing around, half-clothed usually, using hair brushes as microphones, singing at the top of our lungs to Janis Joplin. Just the thought of it makes me smile.

Yes, I realize I’m weird. But I’m sure I’m not the only one.


Pro-life or pro-murder?

Sorry, did that get your attention? I started this blog really to get things off my mind, things that sometimes sit there and fester and help to make me unfocused. For whatever reason, this is one of those subjects that’s been really bothering me for the last 2 weeks.

When I was younger, I was whole-heartedly pro-choice. I felt that while there was NO way I could ever have an abortion (I mean afterall, little things weigh heavily on my mind and drive me crazy, could you imagine the overtime my brain would be putting in on that one?), it was not my place to tell others what they should or could do.

That’s back when I still kinda thought of myself as a democrat too.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen more things, experienced more things as I’m sure I will do in the future. I’ve had my children. ALL of which were unplanned. Why were they unplanned? Because we didn’t take all the necessary precautions to NOT get pregnant before we were ready to do so. Is that the baby’s fault? Nope. It’s mine and Chuck’s.

To me abortion is not about interfering in God’s divine will. Otherwise, I would have a problem with birth control or my husband being neutered. All of which I don’t have a problem with. To me abortion is about not stepping up and taking responsibility for your actions, and it’s murder. I feel there are so many issues in society today because we’ve made it okay for things to be someone else’s fault. No one feels it’s their responsibility to step up to whatever their actions vomited back at them. Tough. Deal with it. You chose not to be responsible, deal with those consequences. If you feel that you can’t deal with a child at that point, there is always alternatives such as adoption.

Murder, you say? Yes. I feel that from the moment of conception and the cells’ division, you have a baby. Even as early as 8 weeks you can see and hear the baby’s heartbeat. See the hands and feet forming. The idea of the government intervening and telling you what you can and cannot do is a big argument for those pro-choicers. But, yet, there are already laws that do not allow me to kill my husband when I no longer want him around (and yes, there are some of those moments!) Yet, it’s somehow okay to kill a baby in the womb because you don’t want it.

In church last weekend, there was a statistic that 1/3 of all American women have had unplanned pregnancies that ended in abortion. That number made me stagger a bit, until I really started to think about it. Chuck said there is no way that the number is that high. But think about it…I know personally 4 women who have had an abortion. Of those women, one woman had 3 abortions, another had 8. Yes. EIGHT. So, if that is the ones I KNOW about, how many do I not know about among my friends and acquaintances? Afterall, there is a stigma still surrounding abortion even though it is legal in the US. So, even after all the sex education that we went through, all the commercials for condoms, all the literature, etc that is out there we still continue to have that many abortions. It’s appalling.

I don’t feel that I’m forcing anyone to have an unwanted child. That decision was made the moment they chose not to use protection or protect themselves from an unwanted pregnancy. But how can we say that murder is okay in one instance, but not another?

I'm not posting this for anyone to try to change my mind, it won't work. Especially not after I wake up in the morning and see the smiling faces of my three children. And if Chuck can't change my mind...I highly doubt that anyone else will be able to. This post is purely to get my thoughts out there-for me.


Being a mom.

Over the last couple weeks, I've had one friend find out she's pregnant rather unexpectedly and another couple friends decide that they were going to start trying to get pregnant.

All this talk about pregnancy, has not made me want to get pregnant as it does for some people. Nope, for me it takes me back to when I first found out and the following year or so after having Zachary. Because for me, becoming a new mom was traumatic. I know you hear all the stories about how wonderful it is and how you feel connected from the moment they are born and it changes your life forever.

Part of that was true for me. I did feel that instant love the moment I held him in my arms, tears streaming down my face and Chuck standing there, tears in his eyes, telling me how very proud he was of me and how much he loved us. And it did change my life forever. But, I do not miss the wonderful part. Let me preface this by saying I was undiagnosed with PPD. But it was there, in a big way.

I hated being a mom in the beginning. Everyone would ask "oh, don't you just LOVE being a mom?" And I would smile the polite smile and nod my head and give the obligatory "It's absolutely wonderful." When inside my head I was thinking "it's horrible! I get no sleep, I don't know what the hell I'm doing, everything I do is wrong" and on and on and on. And that feeling of hating, left me hating myself and feeling guilty about not loving being a mom. But I'm here to tell you, it's not all that abnormal of a reaction. I wish I had known that.

After finding out I was pregnant with Lucas, I started looking for online mom's groups. Because I didn't have (and still don't really) have any close personal long-term friends that have kids. I ended up in a bad group, but then found 2 really wonderful groups. Groups of women who became good friends, but also let me know that I'm not alone in my thinking. There are days when it's all very overwhelming and I don't want to be a mom at that moment. There are days when no matter what I do, it's wrong. But knowing that there were other moms out there, who felt the same way, who knew what I was talking about, helped me immensely. It helped me feel normal. These women stood by me during my surprise pregnancy with Elizabeth and then provided me with a weeks worth of meals after her birth-so I didn't have to worry about what to cook.

My friend, Matt, made a comment to me a couple weeks ago that after 3 kids, I probably have a pretty good grip on being a mother. I'm here to tell you I don't. In my opinion, you never have a 100% grip on being a parent. Because it always changes. I have the baby portion down, for now, but then theres issues with Zachary and school, Lucas being a middle child and acting out. Those are things I've never dealt with before and so have no idea how to deal with them. There are times that I go to my kids and apologize to them for something that I said or did, that I feel wasn't handled properly. I do that because everyone makes mistakes and should own up to it. I make mistakes because a lot of the time, I'm learning right along with my children. They are my teachers as much as I am theirs. So, do I have a grip on everything that goes along with being a parent? Nope. But I have learned some things after having 3 kids and being a mom for almost 6 years.

*No matter what you decide to do, some one will disagree with you. Whether it's your in-laws, parents, brothers, friends, some online poster, someone will disagree with you. I've had a person go as far as tell me that I did not love my children because I was a working mom. That was early in my mom career and I was crushed. It really made me question myself as a mother and as a person. But, that brings me to my second piece of wisdom.

*You have to do what is right for YOUR family. Everyone is different. I'm part crunchy and AP and part mainstream. That isn't right for some people, but it is right for me. Sometimes that means going against the advice of your mom, or your best friend, but all families are different and only YOU can decide what is best for you.

*You need a thick skin to be a mom. Because not only are other people criticizing you (because other mothers are the WORST critics of moms, sad but true) but when your kids get to a certain age, they'll start criticizing you too. And that's okay. It's normal development. But it's hard to hear "I HATE you" coming from your 3 year old. Or to hear your 5 year old say "I wish I had different parents". And to shrug it off and say "I'm sorry you feel that way right now, I still love you lots." takes a lot of internal stamina.

*Never quit trying. Never quit learning. I think that one of the most important parts of being a parent is to not take something at face value. Re-evaluate things every once in a while. If something isn't working for you, look at it and try to figure out how to make it work. Because change is inevitable and you need to roll with it. Easier said than done though.

So, do YOU feel like you have a grip on parenthood? What's the things that you have learned over the course of being a parent?


So it's that time of year again when us Catholics observe Lent.

40 Days (and as Chuck reminded me 40 nights) of giving up something, or doing something, that is difficult for us in observance of how God suffered for all of us.

When I was in college, I gave up sweets and lost some weight. I tried that since then and have not been real successful. However, I am, once and for all, going to give up my beloved Mt. Dew.

I thought I'd kicked the habit...but it's slowly crept back in over the last week. So, bye-bye Mt. Dew!

I also wanted to do something, and have it be a positive influence on my life at the same time, so I'm going to blog daily for 40 days. We'll see if I can do this :) Stay tuned.

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